Inside the Better Business Bureau

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Chances are you've seen 3 On Your Side mention the Better Business Bureau before.

It can be a valuable tool when it comes to analyzing a company.

Not only does the B.B.B. grade businesses for consumers, it also offers helpful warnings about new scams that pop up.

But as reliant as many of us are on the B.B.B., 3 On Your Side does sometimes hear from consumers and companies, that there's more to the B.B.B. than meets the eye upwards of $400 per year just to become an accredited with the B.B.B., a status some consumers thought was earned by a business.

Matthew Fehling is the president of the B.B.B. here in Phoenix, and says it only accredits companies with an "A" or “B" rating, but at least one business 3 On Your Side has dealt with in the past argues, the B.B.B. gave them a bad rating because, “They are mad we don't pay their annual fees and they still have to respond to people who contact them.”

“That complaint generally comes from company's who have bad grades with us and no check, no matter how large they want to write it would allow them in,” Fehling said.

Fehling wants consumers to know, any of its 4,500 companies currently with an “F” rating have earned it.

“Any business with an “F” rating has demonstrated in their file that they have failed to meet the ethical standards that we've set forth,” he said.

Fehling explained to 3 On Your Side grades given to businesses are based on the size of the business and the number of complaints.

In other words, one complaint doesn't equal an “F.”

Fehling also says a complaint isn't considered resolved until the company shows it's actually addressing the issue.

“So companies that just respond back, ‘thanks for sending me this complaint, we'll take care of it’, that's not good enough.”

Fehling blames most of the complaints he sees on bad communication and says being up front, honest and open with customers is the key to a successful business.

“Whatever you can do as a business to increase trust in your customers and potential customers, you really will get a leg up.”