A Canadian and U.S non-profit organization that focuses on trust within advertising. Merchants for are accredited will display a Better Business Bureau badge, the organization working to respond to customer questions on the accreditation and reliability of merchants and businesses.
The BBB was founded in 1912 and collects free reviews on businesses, has responded to over 100 million requests in 2012 and has provided over 4 million reviews in the same year. The BBB reviews advertising alerts the public to advertising scams, and assists in the process of donating to charity, dealing with over 1 million disputes annually.
The BBB attempts to promote ethical business practices, so that both merchants and consumers can operate under an environment of shared trust. The BBB releases educational materials that highlight both general and specific business practices to create proper marketplace standards. If a business is looking to receive the BBB accredited business status they must follow guidelines that have been mandated by the BBB.
If consumers have issues with a business based on their practices or other marketplace behaviors they can file a dispute with the BBB. The BBB has a roughly 70% success rate historically in resolving such complaints through arbitration and mediation. The BBB does not handle complaints against service providers such as lawyers and doctors. These are handled by separate regulating bodies.