What is the Better Business Bureau?
The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit, independent agency that lists ratings for businesses in a particular area. The Bureau keeps files on most local and national businesses and also of charities.
How to Search
When you need to hire a local company, especially if they will be doing jobs around your home, you should probably begin by asking for referrals from friends and neighbors. It’s like trying to make sense of a gigantic puzzle. Then Google the type of business, for example tree services.
Narrow Your List
Narrow your list to the top two or three businesses based on the following criteria: 1. How long has the company been in business? 2. Is the company insured and bonded? (Bonding guarantees the honesty of the employees of the company, which is important if they will be working inside your home.) (Insurance is important in case an employee has a mishap in your home or yard. If the company is not insured, your homeowners insurance may be liable for medical bills etc.) 3. Is the company a member of the Better Business Bureau?
I use the Better Business Bureau as my final decider. After interviewing the company (either on the phone of in person) I almost always choose a BBB member.
Why Hire a BBB Member?
Companies that are Better Business Bureau members are given a letter grade from A+ to F depending on their record. The report will tell you if there have been any complaints on the business and if so, were they handled satisfactorily by the member. When a consumer makes a complaint against a business, the BBB first tells the business and asks them to see if they can solve the complaint on their own. If not, then the complaint may go to mediation with a professional.
Charities are also rated by the Bureau. Many charities keep a large portion of donations to pay staff and pay operating expenses. The Better Business Bureau will tell you how much of your donation will go to the cause.
Years ago I hired a handyman who is a member of the BBB. He has proven to be excellent and has referred me to other home professionals like electricians and plumbers who are also members. I rely on the BBB for my household purchasing decisions.
Custom Maid has been a proud member in good standing of the Better Business Bureau since the late eighties. Give us a call at 499-8568 and let us tell you about our services.
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in August 2013. We have edited it for accuracy, freshness and comprehensiveness.