Better Business Bureau’s 2014 Services: A Quarter of a Billion Opportunities to Serve

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Consumers checking out businesses on jumps 25%


Overall instances of service approached a quarter of a billion, the highest total in BBB's 103-year history.

Better Business Bureau released its 2014 statistics today, showing a 20% jump in overall instances of service and substantial increases in almost every area of assistance. The release marks National Consumer Protection Week in the U.S. and Fraud Prevention Month in Canada.

The Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), the umbrella organization for 112 BBBs across North America, created an infographic highlighting the various ways consumers and businesses receive services from BBB.

Click here for a link to the infographic.

Some highlights:

  •     Overall instances of service approached a quarter billion (up 20%), the highest total in BBB’s 103-year history.
  •     Inquiries – consumers looking up a business on – increased 25%.
  •     Customer Reviews were introduced, resulting in more than 88,000 published reviews (about a third of reviews are not published because BBB cannot verify that the reviewer is a customer of the business)

BBB’s dispute resolutions services, which are provided free of charge, continue to be a strength of the organization and its mission to enhance marketplace trust. The order of the top ten industries that receive complaints remained unchanged from 2013, although overall complaints were down about 5%. The drop in complaints is related to the increase in inquiries (more people checking out a business first rather than complaining later) and the introduction of Customer Reviews (some people choosing to leave a review rather than file a complaint, especially when no refund or other monetary settlement is expected).

Click here for a chart showing the top ten categories of complaints for 2014.

Most of these industries are related to common goods and services that consumers use every day – telephones, cell phones, cable television, the Internet, banks and autos.

The top ten inquiries, on the other hand, tend to be infrequent and high-ticket items, particularly those related to home maintenance. The full statistical report for both complaints and inquiries can be accessed online at


ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.4 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across North America, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.

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Katherine Hutt
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