Consumers will soon be able to find out more details about complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.
Starting Sept. 1, the bureau that serves Western Washington, Oregon and Alaska will begin releasing information on how many and what types of complaints are filed against a business, as well as how the company responded.
Until now, area consumers have only been able to see if a company is rated as “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory,” and if complaints have been filed in the last three years.
The decision is part of a move approved by two-thirds of the 155 BBBs worldwide. Some bureaus around the country have already begun using the new system, but regional Better Business Bureau officials said there has been some concern that consumers will misinterpret information and businesses will get the short end of the stick.
“We wanted to give consumers the most accurate picture possible,” spokeswoman Erin May said. “If someone builds 10 houses a year and gets five complaints, that’s obviously a bigger problem than a business that builds 100 houses and gets five complaints.”
The Northwest bureau decided to provide additional analysis of the data. Its reports will note that the nature of complaints and the way the company responded is more important than how many complaints have been filed.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” May said.