Consumer Watch 10: Finding Better Businesses

Janna Kiehl, Better Business Bureau
Janna Kiehl, Better Business Bureau

Making sure your money is spent wisely, the Better Business Bureau is changing its rating system to help you get the best service possible.

Graduation may have been decades ago, but thousands of Panhandle businesses probably feel like they're back in school again.

The Better Business Bureau is now issuing report cards giving them letter grades A through F.

"Up until two weeks ago, when you checked a business on the BBB Web site, you found out if they were satisfactory or unsatisfactory. But log on today and you'll find out if they make the grade, literally. BBB's Janna Kiehl says there are "sixteen checkpoints that we look at and that includes everything about the company from complaint history and how they handle complaints to how long they've been in business to the type of business they are."

Each of those comes with a point value. For example, having an unanswered complaint will cost a company 30 points. Robert Florez found that out the hard way. His moving company, Zip Dog Moving, received an F. "I don't think it's fair or accurate because it doesn't give you anything to compare it to as far as the hundreds or even thousands of satisfied customers."

Others who received higher grades, like Market Street United, says it's good for consumers because instead of putting the A's and C's in the same category like before, you now have more information to go on when deciding where to spend your money.

Market Street Store Director Matt Edwards says, "I think it's important to have tiers or levels of satisfactory performance." So, how many Panhandle companies have a report card they're not afraid to take home? 24% scored an A. 26% scored a B, which leaves 50% with a C or lower.

This new ratings system launched at all 125 bureaus across the nation.