What Happens After You File a Complaint With the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
After Bubblews announced that they would no longer pay redemptions made before the 11th of November 2014, which understandably upset and angered a lot of people, I heard suggestions of filing complaints with the BBB (Better Business Bureau), FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and the IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center).
Even this was completely understandable because so many people lost so much money and not all of them could be classified as cheaters and spammers. Even the innocent and those who did nothing wrong had to suffer the consequences. How is that fair? And is there really nothing that can be done about that?
*Note: this article uses the now-defunct site Bubblews as an example. But the process on what happens after you file a complaint against a business is pretty much the same.
Need Some Help?
- Want to file a complaint to the BBB but don't know where to start or what to do?
- I know that feeling. I experienced the same thing. I was confused and wanted a step-by-step tutorial guide on exactly what I should do, how to fill out the form, etc
- Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything at all so I had to fill out the form and figure it all out by myself
- You can do that if you want but, if you like, you can check out the detailed tutorial that I wrote about this
- I hope that it can help someone. If you need further assistance, please don't hesitate to ask for help and I'll get back to you as soon as I can
Can't let it go. Don't want to just give up
I lost a redemption too and I didn't want to just let it go. I thought, is that it? Can we just get over this and forget all about it, just like that?
For some, especially for those who've lost hundreds of dollars and for those for whom every cent counts, how can they just let this go?
I wanted to do something. I didn't want to just give up, not if there was a chance, however slightly small, that something can be done about this and that someone can help. So, I started to look into the BBB.
January 13, 2015 - Filed my complaint to the BBB
After reading up and finding information about this, I filed a complaint against Bubblews to the BBB. I filed my complaint on the 13th of January 2015. On the 14th of January 2015, I received an email from them. This was just a generic (likely automated message) where they simply said that they got my complaint, that they sent it to Bubblews and that they assigned my complaint a case number.
January 19, 2015 - received response from the Better Business Bureau
On January 19, 2015, I received another email from the BBB. This time, they said that they got a response from Bubblews regarding my complaint. The response from Bubblews was to ask me for the following information:
- "User Name
- User email used to sign up at Bubblews"
The first was unnecessary considering I already mentioned it in the complaint that I filed. I didn't think the second was even necessary since I provided my PayPal email already.
- Be sure to give all the info that Bubblews is asking for in your initial complaint to the BBB to speed up the process and, hopefully, get your money faster
Nonetheless, I gave my username again as well as the email address I used to sign up at Bubblews. For good measure, I even included a direct link to my Bubblews profile page and I included my PayPal email address again.
The Better Business Bureau complaint form had asked if I was satisfied with the response from Bubblews. I wasn't, of course, since nothing had happened yet. So I clicked the no radio button and explained my answer, including all the information that Bubblews had asked for.
February 4, 2015 - received another message from the BBB
After that, I had to wait for quite a while before I heard anything more from the BBB. I actually didn't think that anything was going to happen and I was already starting to research and find out more info on the FTC and the IC3. Yes, I wanted to try all the companies that can possibly help.
I'd started asking around if anyone had tried those two orgs and what had happened. I'd also began to look for information on exactly how to file a complaint with those 2. Since I've been quite busy lately, I still hadn't gotten around to trying to file complaints with the FTC and the IC3. But, now I don't need to do that anymore.
Do you think that the BBB can help you get your payments from Bubblews?
I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email from the BBB dated February 4, 2015. It was another message telling me that Bubblews had responded to my complaint.
I went to the link provided in the email. On this new page, I saw and read the response from Bubblews. They said that they sent me my payment already.
Did Bubblews really pay me?
To say I was surprised is an understatement, to say the least. I couldn't believe it either. In fact, right after seeing that, I immediately went to check my PayPal account. I said to myself that I wasn't going to respond to the BBB (they wanted to know if my complaint had been resolved or not) yet, not until I see the truth for myself.
Checked my PayPal account for proof
So, I checked my PayPal account. Much to my surprise, it was true and it was right there - according to PayPal, Bubblews sent me an e-check on February 3, 2015.
This was for my August 20, 2014 redemption. This e-check cleared on the 5th of February 2015.
PayPal actually deducted about 2 dollars as the net fee and I wasn't exactly pleased with that but I could let it go, considering the circumstances :-) .
Complaint issue resolved. Thanking the BBB for their help
I was really pleased and happy about this so, after making sure that the e-check had cleared and the money was in my PayPal account, I went back to my complaint form in the BBB and, this time, I answered yes to the question on whether or not my complaint was resolved.
I explained that I got my payment already. And I thanked them for their help. I added that I hope that they can help all the others who also lost money as well and yet didn't try to cheat or manipulate the Bubblews site or engage in any fraudulent activity.
"For the wretched of the earth, there is a flame that never dies. Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."
- song lyrics from Les Misérables Musical Epilogue (Finale)
Speak up! Let your voice be heard!
Exercise your rights, your freedom of speech. If you say nothing and do nothing, then how can anything happen? Don't give up or get discouraged.
I encourage everyone to speak up and let their voices be heard. You lose nothing by trying since it's free to file a complaint and your location doesn't matter to the BBB.
I'm not saying that you'll get paid too because I really don't know (this is up to the BBB and/or Bubblews and, as I mentioned above, I didn't think anything would happen but I thought I'd try anyway because I didn't want to just give up).
So, don't give up. There's always hope. If the BBB doesn't work out, you can always try the other orgs like the FTC and the IC3. That's what I'd planned to do actually.
Fight for your justice! Show your courage... Face reality head on... Never give up, even if the current is against you.— Justice (song lyrics from Vandread anime, sung by Kudou Aki)
Here's the direct link to the BBB complaint form: http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/internet-services/bubblews-in-san-francisco-ca-525234/file-a-complaint
If you file a complaint, then good luck and I hope that all the innocent people who lost money can get their payments too. If you need any help or have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. If this article helped you or if you know someone who can benefit from this post, feel free to share it.
- second pic is by Kazenokaze (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- last image is by lilie-morhiril (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
© 2015 Freya Yuki