Reasons to join the better business bureau

Better Business Bureau - The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been around for almost a hundred years. Originally founded in 1912, the core organization covers the United States, coast-to-coast along with Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. BBB core services include business reports, dispute resolution, truth-in-advertising and education. BBB reports provide information on over two million organizations across the US.

While consumers can use the BBB to check out an organization before they decide to do business with it, businesses also use the BBB to build credibility with their potential customers and to help resolve potential disputes. The requirements for membership in the Better Business Bureau are fairly strict. A company must meet their membership standards, agree to adhere to their ethics codes, and have a proven record of honesty and integrity in the marketplace in order to be accepted into the BBB. Membership standards include area ties, meeting local licensing regulations, providing background information, promptly responding to all customer service requests, self-regulation, policy adherence, complying with BBB arbitration decisions, and paying membership dues.

BBB OnLine is a subsidiary of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, chartered with the responsibility of ensuring good online business practices. Their tag line, “promoting trust and confidence on the Internet”, says it all. In addition to company reports, dispute resolution and education programs, BBB Online’s privacy program helps consumers to identify companies that stand behind their privacy policies.

For online shoppers, trust is paramount and privacy is a major concern. Internet users want to know that their private information is not being indiscriminately released to third parties without their permission. Companies can participate in the BBB Online’s privacy program as a way to help their customers and potential customers to have confidence that their online transactions are private and secure. The first step, of course, is to have a clear privacy policy posted on your web site that is easy to find and easy for visitors to understand. The second step would be to participate in credentialed programs such as the BBB’s in order to certify that your company is adhering to your stated privacy policies.

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