Contrary to popular belief, the Better Business Bureau is NOT a government agency--nor is it government-funded. The BBB has no law enforcement powers but tries to obtain cooperation through its influence and persuasion. The BBB is one of the few consumer assistance organizations that is not funded by tax dollars.
BBB support comes strictly from our BBB Accredited Businesses
The financial support that allows the BBB to offer free services to consumers is provided by responsible area businesses with the goal of ethical business practices in the marketplace. These businesses, through their BBB dues, support all the no-cost educational and complaint services provided to area consumers by the BBB.
The Greater Cleveland Better Business Bureau Accredited Businessess represent "private enterprise in the public interest." Their desire now, as at the time of the Cleveland BBB's founding in 1913, is to maintain an organization to impartially monitor standards of business conduct and expose questionable, harmful business practices. By funding BBB efforts to educate and inform consumers, BBB Accredited Businesses hope that you will "investigate before you invest" and do business with ethical and responsible merchants.
The financial and moral support of BBB Accredited Businesses allows the BBB to work toward a healthy marketplace where all of us can shop with confidence.
BBB Accreditation Standards
A recent Gallup survey found that 85% of Americans would prefer doing business with BBB Accredited Businesses. Why? Because the BBB is one of few business organizations that actively monitors its members' compliance with ethical business standards. BBB Standards for Trust cover critical consumer issues such as: advertising and selling practices; time in business; ownership; and responsiveness to complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses are so confident in their abilities to satisfy their customers that in the unlikely event that the company's customer service staff and the BBB's own efforts to reconcile a dispute fail, BBB Accredited Businesses agree to mediate or arbitrate. That's a safety net every consumer should appreciate. Not all companies can be accredited. In order to be considered for accreditation, a company must have a track record showing that they meet BBB business practice standards and continue to maintain those standards every day.