Milwaukee,Wis. - 2013 was a busy year for the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin, which successfully moved its offices to a new building in May.
“Our dream of moving into a brand new building became a reality last year,” said Randall Hoth, CEO/President. “We are excited to be able to deliver important services through our state of the art building and our offices in Madison and Appleton. Self-regulation is alive and well at the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin and your support helps fund the many important services we offer.”
The BBB marked its move with a grand opening open house in November, attended by local businesses, members of the media, government officials, and others.
In 2013,consumers turned to the BBB Serving Wisconsin more than 4.7 million times, (an increase of 14.6 percent) the bulk of which came through the local BBB website.Requests for BBB reports on businesses and charities in Wisconsin rose to 2,098, 297-up nearly 14 percent from 2012. The BBB received 20,985 telephone calls in 2013 and responded to 3,028 live chats.
The number of complaints processed by the BBB Serving Wisconsin was 12,883. The BBB was able to obtain responses for 87.3 percent of the complaints filed with the BBB by consumers, a 4 percent increase.
Being able to view actual complaint detail in BBB reports was added in January, 2013,and statistics show that complaint detail was viewed by the public 191,468 times throughout the year.
Inaddition, the BBB of Wisconsin conducted 188 investigations and sent 77 pressreleases to the public including informational pieces, bad business alerts, andscams. This resulted in more than 2,700 TV, radio and newspaper stories. TheBBB of Wisconsin also continued posting regular, sometimes-weekly blogs forvarious online publications.
In October, the BBB Serving Wisconsin received an “Outstanding BBB Award” from the Council of Better Business Bureaus; “1st Place, Single Case Investigation” for its investigation on Green Bay-based We Sell Timeshares 4 Cash and its principal, Mark S. Parks. Parks was arrested and charged in July for participating in a nationwide timeshare telemarketing fraud scheme.
Monitoring of advertising remains an important function at the BBB. In 2013, the BBB challenged 172 ads for questionable claims, BBB logo misuse, and noncompliance with BBB standards. The BBB requested immediate cease and desist from unauthorized users of its logo, requested substantiation of certain advertising claims and, in some cases, asked companies to modify their advertising to eliminate false or misleading information.
In 2013,the BBB Serving Wisconsin increased its Twitter followers by 27 percent,bringing the total to more than 4,500 followers and increased its Facebook “likes” 26 percent, bringing the total of Facebook fans to more than 20,400.
Posting of positive, negative, and neutral customer reviews to our website by the public totaled 3,757 in 2013.
The BBB serves an important function through consumer education, which occurs through media alerts, social media sites, consumer newsletters and educational events,such as ShredFest – the BBB’s bi-annual free community shredding event held in Milwaukee, Appleton and Madison. In 2013, the BBB Serving Wisconsin helped thousands of people avoid identity theft by collecting, shredding and recycling more than 83,000 pounds of personal documents.
In May,the BBB awarded three $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors who demonstrated high character, leadership and ethical values.
BBB services to the public are free. Consumers may obtain Business Reviews online at bbb.org or by calling 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Northeast Wisconsin), 608-268-2221 (Southwest Wisconsin) or 800-273-1002 (elsewhere in the state). Consumers can also receive news alerts from the BBB Serving Wisconsin by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.
|Top 10 Most Inquired About TOBs || |
|Roofing Contractors ||68,206 |
|Construction & Remodeling Services ||64,430 |
|Auto Repair & Service ||43,671 |
|Heating & Air Conditioning ||43,570 |
|Insurance Companies ||42,598 |
|Services – General ||41,981 |
|Auto Dealers - Used Cars ||37,388 |
|Home Builders ||34,443 |
|Contractors – General ||31,888 |
|Plumbers ||31,090 |
| || |
|Top 10 Most Complained About TOBs || |
|Department Stores ||698 |
|Auto Dealers - New Cars ||454 |
|Mail Order & Catalog Shopping ||423 |
|Cable TV, Internet & Telephone Installation Service ||253 |
|Furniture – Retail ||251 |
|Building Materials ||229 |
|Auto Dealers - Used Cars ||205 |
|Collection Agencies ||204 |
|Auto Repair & Service ||194 |
|Insurance Companies ||180 |
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison)or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.