How to File a Complaint With the Better Business Bureau

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If you have had a negative interaction with a business and been unable to get resolution through the company, it might be time to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau will investigate the complaint and try to get the issue resolved on your behalf. Often the company in question will make a strong effort to take care of the problem so that the complaint can be resolved.

Visit the Better Business Bureau website. Once you visit the website, you will be prompted to put in your zip code so that they can direct you to the website for your local office. If you want to visit the office in person, you can find addresses and phone numbers on this website to help you do so.

Read the complaint acceptance policies. Make sure that the Better Business Bureau can resolve your complaint and that your complaint is the type that they handle. You can read these policies online and determine whether filing a complaint is appropriate in your case.

Answer the online questions. You will be given a set of questions about your complaint to help direct it to the appropriate office. Be sure to answer accurately and truthfully.

Search for the company. Once you've put in your zip code, you can search through the online database for the company you want to complain about. There may be multiple listings or multiple companies with similar names. Be sure to double check the address and phone numbers to make sure that you are complaining about the correct business.

Fill in the online form. Once you've selected your company, you will asked to provide specific information regarding the situation that you are complaining about. Have the dates, names of the people you spoke to, and details about the transaction ready and type them in. Be sure to include what you would like to resolve the situation such as a refund or discount.

Wait. The Better Business Bureau gets hundreds of complaints per day. You will receive an email giving you a time frame for your issue. If you do not receive a verification of your submission or if this time frame passes, contact the office by email or phone to see where it stands.


  • Stick to the facts. Don't rant in your complaint. Write a clear, concise description of the issue and how you would like to see it resolved.
  • Try speaking to the manager or supervisor first. Often complaints can be resolved simply by speaking to someone else at the company.
  • Look for the Better Business Bureau logo on businesses to know that they participate in the program.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau before doing business with a company and see if they have outstanding complaints.


About the Author

Robin Noelle is a professional writer living and working in Northern California. She has a degree in Journalism and a background in high tech public relations. She is the author of travel guides and end-user computer books.

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