Better Business BureauThe Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) took action to address the questions raised by investigations into their grading system by ABC’s 20/20 and the Connecticut Attorney General.

While the BBB is an organization consumers have trusted for decades, the new rating system has been  under fire.  Instead of giving a business a satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating, the BBB changed to letter grades with pluses and minuses.

The new grading system raised concerns about “pay for play.”  Businesses argued that they received better grades if they paid to become an accredited business. The BBB is discontinuing that policy and accredited business will no longer receive extra points in the grading system. The organization is also working with an independent third-party to review the accreditation process.

The BBB is also starting a complaint process online so you can report a concern about a BBB sales practice.

I think the television reports raised some valid concerns, but what the reports did not mention are the throngs of consumers who have successfully resolved problems because of the BBB.  I’ve heard the negative comments from businesses, and even heard the phrase “pay for play” as the reasoning behind a poor rating. I hope the BBB continues to make changes to improve its system, so consumers can once again trust that every review they see is not a result of “pay for play.”