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How to File a Complaint With the Better Business Bureau?

Two Ways to File a Complaint with the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau agency (BBB) stipulates regulations that one has to follow to file a complaint. Chief being they do not handle personal matters other than business-related or disgruntled consumers’ cases of businesses registered with the Better Business Bureau.

For starters, one is advised though not a must to resolve the issue directly with the party involved before contacting the Better Business Bureau agency. Preferably, writing a letter to the entity the complaint is against and keeping a copy of the letter that the Better Business Bureau agency can access.

One also must understand that Better Business Bureau agency is just an intermediary and that there are limitations to filing a complaint. For instance, if those served the complaint fail to comply or respond, there is nothing the Better Business Bureau agency can do other than maybe lowering the rating of the business entity involved.

Resolutions that ‘BBB cannot seek’ in a consumer filed complaint –

However, suppose one proceeds to take the business entity they filed a complaint against to court. In that case, the complaint filed via Better Business Bureau agency could come in handy.


The Two Ways to File Your Complaint at the Better Business Bureau Agency Are:

  1. Writing a complaint letter and posting it to the nearest Better Business Bureau office, or
  2. Filing the complaint online

It is good to note that if you decide to write and post your complaint letter, it must be sent to a Better Business Bureau office near you.

One cannot post their complaint to the Better Business Bureau headquarters office in Virginia. One has to search for the nearest office in a city in their state or province in the case of Canada.



1. How to Write a Complaint Letter to a Better Business Bureau Office

Step 1:

First, ensure that you have tried to resolve your problem with the business entity concerned before filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. It is good to note that for those who have no email address, then writing and posting your complaint is the second-best alternative to filing your complaint at BBB.

Step 2:

Next, have the contact address of the nearest Better Business Bureau office. One can search in a directory online or offline. You can also check online at

Step 3:

Write your complaint directly describing the alleged shortcoming of a service or product that the company has provided or agreed to provide. The languages accepted are English and Spanish.

As per the Better Business Bureau regulations, the complaint filed should not be personal or have foul language.



The complaint should also arise from the previous 12 months. The complaint, among other things, should not be in litigation or previously filed at the court.

Step 4:

Take any supporting documents to your filed complaint, including and not limited to receipts, correspondence, photographs of damaged product… or just details of packaging, etc. Attach to your complaint letter, put in the stamped envelope, address the nearest Better Business Bureau office, and post it.

Remember, one should keep original documents and attach only copies that act as supporting evidence to the complaint that one is filing!



2. Filing the Complaint on the Better Business Bureau Website

Step 1:

Browse to the Better Business Bureau agency website at Next, navigate to the page for filing the complaint At the bottom of the page, you will see a button written ‘Start your complaint’. Click on it.

Online complaint system get started –

Step 2:

You will see a page titled – Verify the nature of your complaint. Fill in the required areas and click on the button ‘Next’.

Verify nature of the complaint –

Step 3.1:

A page appears with a search bar. Read the message accompanying the search bars. Fill in the name and or address/email of the business you want to file a complaint against.  You should see the business details appear on the page if Better Business Bureau accredits the business. If the company has offices in different locations, you will have to choose one address location.

Search for the business to file a complaint against –

Step 3.2:

Suppose the details for the company you are filing against are not available. In that case, you will be directed to fill in a form that pops up manually. You will then click ‘submit’.

Details form for the business you are filing a claim against –

Step 4:

You will see a message titled – ‘notice’ indicating that you are being redirected to the appropriate Better Business Bureau office where you will be able to file your complaint. Click the button ‘continue’.

A notice alerting one that they are being redirected to another appropriate BBB website to file a complaint –

Step 5:

Next, you will be ushered into a new page titled-‘How can BBB assist you’? There are four choices to select from as you can see from the screenshot below. Select by clicking on the first option – ‘File a complaint.’

Select and click on ‘File a Complaint’ to proceed –

Step 6:

You will be brought to another page titled ‘BBB: Qualification Questions’. You will be presented with questions where you select a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Depending on how you answer the questions, you will be allowed to move to the next stage or not. If you get right the qualification questions, you will move to the next step by clicking on a green button with the words ‘Proceed to Complaint Form’.

Qualification questions to answer before proceeding to click on ‘Complaint Form –

Step 7:

You will see a new page title –‘BBB Complaint Form’.

7.1 Proceed to step1‘Tell us About Yourself & the Business’. Please fill in the form with personal details including your name, address, email, and telephone. Fill in the form in the areas indicated, when you are done click on ‘Next’.

Tell us about yourself and business –

7.2 Next, you will move to step 2, titled ‘Tell Us About Your Complaint’.This section has parts to fill. There is also information about what resolutions Better Business Bureau can seek and cannot seek on your behalf. Fill in all the sections and click on ‘Next’.

Tell us about your

7.3 You will come to step 3 titled ‘Additional Complaint Details’. In this section, one has to fill in additional information about the product or service they are filing the complaint.

Fill in additional complaint details –

7.4 Finally, you will get to step 4 – ‘Review and Submit Your Complaint’.All the information filled in is presented. You can check every detail to ensure there are no errors. Or if you wish to make any changes, then click the previous button. When the information is as you intend it to be, click on the checkboxes under the title ‘Waivers’, it is a must! Last but not least, click on the button ‘Submit Complaint’.

Finally, review your complaint before submitting
Submit your better business bureau form by clicking on ‘Submit Complaint’ button –

Congratulations you have finished filing your complaint. The Better Business Bureau states on its website that it takes two business days to forward your complaint to the company concerned. That one should expect a response within 14 days if the company responds to the complaint.

However, suppose the company does not respond to the complaint within 14 days. In that case, the Better Business Bureau forwards the same complaint the second time. The Better Business Bureau then closes the filed complaint within 30 days after the consumer has received an appropriate response or after sending the complaint a second time.

When the consumer complaint is closed, Better Business Bureau will, depending on the outcome of the filed complaint mark the case as either; unanswered, answered, unpursuable, resolved, or unresolved.