Tami Barrett, Lincoln Branch Manager of the Better Business Bureau was out speaker at Lincoln South Rotary Club on January 18, 2019.
Much of the purpose of the BBB is to be a neutral third-party to help with conflict resolution. They provide mediation for businesses and consumers who file complaints. But they are not just about receiving complaints.
A highly visible event is the Integrity Awards to celebrate businesses who go about their business with the highest levels of integrity.
They hold cyber security events to help educate the community on scams. There are so many stories about people being scammed and there are new ones cropping up regularly. She shared that a recent scam involved the purchase of a puppy online. Money was sent for the puppy but then there were a series of events that caused delays and required additional funds such as airport delays and illnesses. Eventually it is determined that there is no puppy and it was just a scam.
The BBB does charity accreditation providing information about the percentage of funds that actually support the charity vs. the amount that goes to operations.
They will check on any business - not just those mentioned in complaints. If contacted about a business they will check on it. At Christmas time they had some inquiries into return policies.
There was also a local bank that recently sent letters to customers stating that they may ask for passwords over the phone. This caused some concern since we have heard for years that we will not be asked for passwords over the phone. The Bank was adding a layer of security to protect the customer accounts but it caused concern.
They have events and information in the Spring to help avoid construction scams. They hope to prepare consumers for the storm season and who they should hire for repairs.
They do not handle workplace disputes or matters that have already been litigated. They do not endorse products or services. And, they will not act on anonymous complaints. They are not able to accredit schools, government agencies or faith communities.
The website is full of consumer tips and news: https://www.bbb.org/us/ne/lincoln.