Wise consumers avoid most problems by making sure they are doing business with reputable companies, and knowing the company’s policies in advance. Here are some tips to avoid problems and resolve them when they occur.
•Always check free reports with BBB.org before doing business with any company. The reports can tell you when the company began business, where it is located, the owner and/or manager’s name and contact information, the company’s nature of business, any complaints filed, any reviews written (positive, negative or neutral) and whether there has been any government action against the company. Also, if the Better Business Bureau questioned the company’s advertising, you’ll find that information in the report as well.
•Save all sales receipts, contracts, canceled checks, owner’s manuals and warranty documents
•If there’s a problem, try to work it out with the company first. Your best bet is to speak directly with a manager or the owner. Be calm and courteous when bringing your issues to the company’s attention, rather than becoming angry or argumentative. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Tell the company representative that your experience has not been acceptable and ask what he or she can do to resolve the matter for you.
•Know your rights. Know what you want the resolution to the problem to be. Be clear in all your communications with the company about how you feel the issue should be resolved.
•Take good notes; document the purchase date, amount paid, payment method, who you spoke with and when.
•If you cannot get your complaint resolved, contact the BBB. Fill out our online complaint form at BBB.org, which will be very quick. (We can mail you a complaint form if you do not have access to a computer). Contact our office at 414-847-6000or toll-free throughout the state at 1-800-273-1002. We’re happy to give you advice over the phone and point you in the right direction.
•When BBB receives a complaint we forward it to the business and request its assistance in resolving it. Most businesses are happy to work with the BBB, as they appreciate the opportunity to redeem a customer relationship. BBB Accredited Businesses must respond to any complaint brought to their attention or risk losing their accreditation status. Once a response is received, BBB forwards it to you.
•BBB acts as a neutral, third party to help you and the business reach a satisfactory resolution of the problem.