The Better Business Bureau: What you need to know

Article posted by on May 22, 2017

By Jeff Walker

The BBB has been a useful tool over the years for anyone who’s visited the website looking for a moving company.  Our article “How to Find a Reputable Moving Company” makes good use of their site.  They provide a wealth of information regarding consumer experiences with various companies, however can be fairly confusing for those who don’t know what to look for in a moving company when visiting the BBB.

Did you know that in some branches, the BBB rating can be manipulated?  We didn’t either until we started looking a little deeper at the information the BBB provides.  Most people, when visiting the BBB, simply look at the ratings score and call it a day.  Unfortunately this provides no detailed information about the company they’re choosing to work with, and in fact, leaves them open to potential problems down the road.  That being said, we don’t know how the ratings are being manipulated, but if your moving company has an “A+” rating and 30+ complaints, then it’s time to look further than just a rating.

So what should we be looking at?

The BBB has several sections to each company’s page.  The summary page is what most people look at to determine if their mover is a good company.  As mentioned before, if you’re just looking at the rating, you’re not going far enough.  Just to the right of the overview page is the “Reviews and Complaints” page.  This will show any reviews customers have submitted, as well as any complaints submitted to the BBB for arbitration.  Initially we want to look at the number of complaints that customers have listed with your moving company.  Anything more than 10, and you should begin to wonder if this is a good company.  Most reputable moving companies will have less than 10, the good ones less than 5 and the great ones will have one or zero.  This, of course depends on the size of the company and how many moves they perform, as the more moves a moving company performs, the greater the opportunity for  something to go wrong.   But this brings us to our second opportunity to check up on our company.

How did they treat complaints?

The true test of any company is not how well they performed under good circumstances, but how well they performed when something went wrong.  We can see this by going to the complaints section and checking out the responses to the customer complaints by the company.  Most BBB affiliates have published this information.  How did the moving company react?  Did they blame the customer? Did they offer to make things right, or hide behind a set of rules and regulations?  How many times did they repeat this behavior?

Simply put, you want a mover who’s going to take care of you, even if things go wrong.  Some of this is on you, the customer.  For example buying the option for full valuation protection for damages. But you also want a company who’s going to step up and try to make things right for you.  Does that mean you get a refund for your move if something goes wrong?  No.  You are just looking for a company who is going to make things right, no matter what went wrong.