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‘Not all about handshakes’: Tips to finding trustworthy businesses in B.C.

A business can be stripped of accreditation for not responding to complaints
(Better Business Bureau Logo)

Just because the guy down the road has a contractor decal on his truck and says he’ll cut you a deal doesn’t mean you should accept his services.

Finding the right business for the job doesn’t have to be a challenge.

Media and Communications Specialist with the Better Business Bureau Aaron Guillen said they do the hard work for you of making sure a business has a good reputation.

The BBB gives accreditation to businesses, like a stamp of approval, that they are operating with the clients top of mind.

“Just because you don’t have it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad business, but with that, it’s a great way to let other consumers know that you are a trusted business, that you abide by a code of ethics that is really regulated not only across Canada but also in the United States.”

Guillen noted that accreditation isn’t a pay-to-play scenario, but rather a business agreeing to be held accountable by consumers.

Businesses looking for the official seal must meet the code of ethics requirements. “Some of them are very simple, as you have to be operating for more than six months as a business. You have to state how much you’re bringing in for revenue, talk about how big your team is, and then it goes from those basic things to, are you properly advertising the services that you offer to your clients, are you hiding any bad reviews that clients have given to you… are you letting consumers know that you can be a trusted source?”

The process of receiving accreditation can take up to six months.

So, how does one find a reputable business?

The BBB has the full list of accredited businesses on its website, but Guillen said there are other things to consider.

“Some really quick tips I’d like to share - getting every single detail that you are expecting in a written contract. It’s not all about the handshakes, about the phone calls… What expectations do you have of this business and are those expectations on paper or are there going to be extra fees when you end up paying at the end of the day?”

Guillen noted that getting other references can be helpful.

“It’s as easy as asking the owner for someone else who has had a similar experience as yours to ask them if they were on time, how the whole process was like, what the payment process was like. If you’re not happy with that answer, then shop around and get a couple of estimates from competitors.”

Still, having issues with an accredited business? You can file a complaint with the BBB.

Guillan said no business can be accredited if they have unanswered complaints and the accreditation is put under review if the business fails to respond to new complaints.

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