Better Business Bureau implements new rating system

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PHOENIX -- The Better Business Bureau is changing the way it rates Arizona companies.

The BBB just unveiled this system and I think you, the consumer, are going to love it.

Beforehand, Arizona businesses were rated as either "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory." But now, the Better Business Bureau is getting more detailed so you can make better decisions.

The owner of Community Tire located throughout the Valley says he couldn't have been happier when the Better Business Bureau announced its new rating system.

"Well, it's wonderful because now we're giving the customer a true rating for that individual business," Howard Fleischman said.

Fleischman says his tire stores have always been rated as "satisfactory," but it wasn't a word he liked very well.

"I think anybody can be satisfactory," he said. "Today, you have to be more than satisfactory in any industry."

In a bold move, the Better Business Bureau changed its rating system.

Before, if you called the BBB to check on a business, you were simply told it had either a satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating. That was it.

But now, all businesses are given a letter grade -- an A-plus, all the way down to an F, just like a report card.

"I think it's a great way for people to check out who they're doing business with," said Felecia Thompson with the BBB.

Thompson said "satisfactory" and "unsatisfactory" ratings just weren't that much help, but seeing a business rated with a letter grade is more specific.

"The word 'satisfactory' can be open to interpretation, but with the letter grade everyone knows what an 'A' means so it's a clear picture to the consumer," she said.

Which brings us back to Fleischman and his tire stores.

Over the past three years, his seven stores have had only one customer file a complaint with the BBB and that complaint was resolved.

Based on that and other factors, the Better Business Bureau awarded Community Tire an A-plus.

Fleischman says that's more like it and believes the new detailed rating system will make all businesses more accountable.

"I hope that they know now that with the new A through F system, you need to do that extra thing for the customers," he said.

California has had the A through F grading system for a while and it was pretty successful there, so the BBB decided to go ahead and do it here.