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Ecommerce Forum

Better Business Bureau
web credibility

 4:41 pm on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

In relation to the discussion about putting phone numbers on e-commerce sites ( [webmasterworld.com...] ), I'd like to get comments about putting the Better Business Bureau verification link on your site. The Better Business Bureau is a non profit organization that acts as a go-between for businesses and consumers to handle complaints. They offer an option where you can put their logo on your site, hyperlinked to a report on your company, listing several pieces of information, including how long you have been a member, number of complaints filed, your address, telephone, etc.

There is a fee involved, the amount of which depends on the size of your business.

We have used this since becoming a member of the Better Business Bureau and have found it to be quite effective in lending credibility to our enterprise on the web.



 5:00 pm on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

No question that it adds a degree of credibility to the shoppers experience and the inbound link (in my case from a PR 7 page) doesn't hurt either. :)


 6:21 pm on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Customers really seem to pay attention. I'm the "owner" of the BBB relationship here at our company ... we have a straight up BBB membership and the BBBOnline thingie (technical term).

In the past 2 years I've had four customers take complaints all the way to the BBB - it seems clear that people really do take notice of it.

I also like our TRUSTe relationship - another thing that, in our users' eyes, lends credibility.


 7:34 pm on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yeah. I've placed several complaints against companies with various BBB chapters. Nothing happened. As far as I can tell from my own experience, BBB is worthless.

Richard Lowe


 7:49 pm on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Really? Wow - I feel really compelled to answer customer complaints of any type ... and the BBB ones scare me. We always comply and try to resolve things. If you don't respond, the BBB can (and will) yank your membership.


 7:54 pm on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yep. On three seperate occasions sent in complaints, got the automated response, waited 3 months, sent in email saying "what's going on with this?" Got back "wait we're working on it" and that was all.

Kind of discouraging.

Ricard Lowe


 7:57 pm on Aug 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you don't respond, the BBB can (and will) yank your membership.

And then what? I'm under the impression that they are pretty toothless when it comes to actually enforcing any kind of fair conflict resolution... they can kick you out of their clubhouse, but what else?

The BBB is useful before the fact, in that a consumer can look up BBB records to see if a particular business has any complaints recorded if they're concerned. However, when it comes to enforcement, a consumer is much better off going through their credit card company.

OTOH, seeing that a business is a member in good standing of the BBB at least means they haven't made a practice of doing bad business. It couldn't hurt to have the BBBOnline logo on your site.

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