One hundred three years ago, Better Business Bureau was formed as an advertising regulatory group whose goal was to help prevent companies from making empty or false claims about their products and services. Gone were the days of declaring your product as the best product in the world because you said so. Over the years BBB evolved, while still retaining the core mission of keeping businesses honest. BBB began garnering a gambit of services that benefitted both business and consumer.
Today, we’ve grown to 113 offices across the United States, Canada and Mexico. We exist to advance marketplace trust by gathering information from consumers and businesses. What does that mean, exactly? We give consumers the tools they need to find good businesses to work with thus driving customers to accredited businesses. Our accredited businesses go through a vetting process in which we check eight standards to ensure you’re getting a good business when you check out our website or give us a call. Most people know that we do that, but a lot of people don’t realize that BBB is so much more.
A common misconception we hear all the time is that people think we are a government agency, based on the word ‘bureau’ in our name. We are actually a not-for-profit unbiased reporting agency. We also have to remind people that you don’t have to be an accredited business to have a rating with us. On our website, we hold reports on over 32,000 businesses in Southern Arizona. That’s a lot of information to maintain and we work tirelessly to keep things as up to date as possible.
Being an accredited business with BBB is a badge of honor. We have almost 3,000 accredited businesses in Southern Arizona and the list is growing. What does that growth mean for our community? It means that we as consumers and business owners will have the ability to spend more confidently in our community, make researching products and services more efficient, and takes the guesswork out of hiring a new company for a job.
Better Business Bureau also protects consumers from the vicious cycle of scams that are constantly bombarding our lives. Less than six months ago, through a grant provided by Target, BBB built a powerful new tool called Scam Tracker. Currently there are over 10,000 scams reported nationwide, 50 percent more than were reported at this time last month. In Arizona alone, there are over 300 reported. We are not only protecting consumers from bad businesses, we are protecting consumers from scammers.
With a century of experience under our belt, we hope we’ve learned a few things along the way and that we can continue to provide excellent resources to consumers and businesses.
For more information on BBB, and to nominate a trustworthy business for a BBB Torch Award visit our website at Tucson.bbb.org.