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What Happens After a BBB Complaint?

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. | Last updated on

When consumers have a gripe with a business, such Texas-based Bitcoin "mining" computer maker CoinTerra, they often turn to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

As Austin's KXAN-TV explains, the BBB catalogs customer complaints -- in this case, that the company's computers allegedly failed to perform as advertised and that promised refunds haven't appeared. The BBB then contacts the company.

But business owners may be wondering: What exactly happens when a customer makes a complaint to the BBB? And what's the worst that can happen if you don't respond to a BBB complaint?

  • If you're facing consumer complaints, an experienced business lawyer can help you decide the right course of action and help you avoid potential legal issues.

The BBB's Complaint Process

Accoring to the BBB's website, consumers can file complaints either online or over the phone.

Among the types of complaints that BBB doesn't handle are complaints about pricing, business to business disputes, criminal acts or civil rights complaints. The BBB also requires customers to try to contact the company about their complaints first.

Once a complaint is opened, the BBB contacts the business within five business days from the date the complaint was filed. The business then has 30 days to respond.

Any response received is forwarded to the complaining customer via mail or email; if the business disputes the complaint, information about pursuing the complaint with a government agency is included. Either way, once the business responds, the complaint is closed.

What Happens If You Don't Respond?

Unlike state consumer protection agencies, the BBB is not government-sanctioned and has no ability to compel businesses to pay fines or other penalties. However, failure to respond to a complaint submitted to the BBB can still have consequences.

Both the complaint, and your failure to respond to it, will be documented on the BBB's website for anyone looking up your business' complaint record. Businesses that are BBB accredited may have that status revoked.

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