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BBB Updates Grading Scale

Formula Uses 16 Factors to Grade Businesses

RALEIGH, N.C. (January 11, 2009) – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Eastern North Carolina (bbb.org) announces today it is launching improved BBB Reliability Reports™, which include a more detailed A+ through F letter-grading system replacing the previous ratings scale of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

BBB provides reports on more than four million businesses online and free of charge at www.bbb.org. The new letter-grades are prominently displayed to help consumers more quickly identify and compare the reliability of businesses.

“Given the tough economic conditions, consumers can’t afford to make bad buying decisions and are looking for more detailed information about businesses,” says Beverly Baskin, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina. “BBB’s improved reports provide detailed insight into a business’s track record based on in-depth research and consumer reported experiences.”

BBB’s proprietary ratings formula takes into account 16 weighted factors, using objective information and actual incidences of a business’s behavior that have been verified and evaluated by BBB professionals. Ultimately, a letter-grade rating represents BBB’s degree of confidence that a business is operating in a trustworthy manner and will make a good faith effort to resolve any customer concerns.

The rating takes into account whether the business model and industry violates the law, misrepresents products and services, is likely to generate trade practice concerns, and/or has high levels of customer dissatisfaction.

Additional operation-specific rating factors are:

• The type of business and its business model
• How long the business has been operating
• The extent of background information available to BBB for evaluation
• Whether the business has appropriate competency licensing
• The extent to which BBB is able to develop a clear understanding of the business
• Any advertising issues found by BBB
• Government actions against the business
• Whether the business has attained BBB Accredited Business status
• An overall complaint analysis
o Total volume of complaints filed against the business
o The number of serious complaints
o The number of unanswered complaints
o The number of complaints with delayed resolution
o The number of unresolved complaints
• Whether the business has honored any mediation/arbitration commitments
• Whether the business has had its BBB Accreditation revoked

“BBB has been providing information people can trust for nearly 100 years,” adds Baskin. “BBB Accreditation and letter-grade ratings are valuable new resources consumers can start with when looking for trustworthy businesses.”

For more information, visit www.bbb.org.

# # #

About BBB of Eastern North Carolina:
The Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina is a 501 (c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by BBB Accredited Business fees from more than 3,200 local business and professional firms. The BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by the BBB include, reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, dispute resolution services, and consumer/business education programs. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration. Visit www.bbb.org.

BBB of Eastern North Carolina
5540 Munford Rd., Ste. 130
Raleigh, NC 27612-2655

Beverly Baskin
919.277.4202
bbaskin@raleigh.bbb.org

Media Contact
Cindy Stranad
919.232.5008
cindy@articulon.com

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