How to File a Complaint to the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
Looking for exactly what you need to do and what steps you need to follow if you want to file a complaint to the BBB or the Better Business Bureau?
I understand where you're coming from because I also searched for this info to help me file my BBB complaint. Since I couldn't find a detailed guide, I had to figure it out myself. So, I wrote this tutorial to help all those who need a step-by-step guide. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.
(Jump straight to the tutorial by using this link here or just scroll further down)
*Note: this article uses filing a complaint against the now-defunct site Bubblews as an example. But the process on how to file a complaint against other businesses is pretty much the same.
How much money, time, effort and hard work did you lose thanks to Bubblews?
If you write for Bubblews, then you've no doubt heard about the surprise they gave to all of their members right on New Year's Eve.
On the 31st of December 2014, the site announced that all those who redeemed before the 11th of November 2014 will no longer be paid due to "extremely high levels of manipulation and fraudulent activity" while those who redeemed after the 11th will get a reduced payment.
How much money did you lose from Bubblews?
Sorry for the inconvenience
So many people lost so much money, time and effort and all the website can say is this: "we apologize to the Bubblews community for any inconvenience these changes may cause". Does that sound sincere to you or what? Do you think those who lost so much should just get over it, let it go and move on? How can this ever be considered fair or right?
It's only natural to be angry and upset considering the above announcement and how it seems to imply that all the members are cheaters and spammers. Sure, there were a lot of bad people there but there were also honest and good members so why should they be made to pay for something they didn't do?
Quick notes about the BBB:
- You can use this to file complaints to sites, businesses or companies that may have wronged you
- You can file complaints for free
- You can file complaints regardless of your location
What can you do?
If you lost money from Bubblews, you can consider filing a complaint to the BBB. If everyone who was wronged or who felt wronged by that site let their voices be heard, then maybe something can be done and changes can happen.
You won't lose anything by filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau so it's worth a try. And it's better than doing nothing, right?
- If you want to file a complaint about a different site or business, then just use the BBB's search feature to find the company's exact address
How to file a complaint to the Better Business Bureau?
The first thing you'll need to do is go to this link: http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/internet-services/bubblews-in-san-francisco-ca-525234/file-a-complaint (note: I didn't hyperlink it because I'm not sure if I can add a clickable link to this site. Just copy the URL and paste it on the address bar of your internet browser).
The above URL link will take you to a page with some text. The info here just basically tells you that you're about to file a complaint against Bubblews as well as some of the things that you need to know if you want to file complaints to the BBB (for example: the org doesn't want you to use "abusive or foul language" when filing a complaint). After reading the text, just click on the "continue" button.
Online Complaint Form For Bubblews LLC
Step 1: Verify the nature of your complaint
After clicking the "continue" button, you'll be taken to a new page with the above headings. Below those titles, you will see 4 questions that you have to answer with either a "yes" or a "no".
The questions are:
"Does your complaint concern employment practices?
Does your complaint allege discrimination?
Does your complaint allege civil rights violations?
Has this complaint case ever been involved in litigation?"
You might be tempted to answer "yes" to the discrimination question (in case you feel that Bubblews is discriminating against its users by refusing to pay all those who redeemed before the 11th of November 2014 and by lumping in the honest and innocent people with the spammers and cheaters) but I suggest that you don't because answering in the affirmative will just lead you to a list of links where you can report the company for possible discrimination.
You can look at these links later if you want to. Let's get back to filing our complaint to the BBB. After answering the 4 questions, click on the "submit" button.
- You can't file an anonymous complaint to the BBB so you will need to provide them with your personal info like your name and address
- I read through their terms and policies and nothing seemed fishy. They also use the "https://" so your info should be secure and safe
Step 2: Tell us about yourself
You'll now be taken to a page where you can fill out your personal information. You will have to answer all the fields that are shown or marked in red.
Some of the information they will ask you for includes your name, address, city, email address, etc. They will also ask you for "preference for correspondence regarding this complaint" and you can choose between the email, fax or mail option. I chose the email option but it's up to you to choose whatever you want.
You will also see a drop-down list, which says "-no state/prov selected-". Click it and you will see a list of the American states. If you're from the United States of America (USA), then just choose your state from that list.
If you're from another country, then just keep scrolling until you start seeing names listed in capital letters. These refer to the rest of the world so you will see countries like Argentina, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Russia, Switzerland, India, Philippines, France, Germany, Italy, etc. So, just choose your country from the list.
After double-checking all the information that you typed up, click on the "next" button.
Not located in the USA? Don't worry. Your location doesn't matter to the BBB. Feel free to file your complaint regardless of where you currently are (but don't say you're in Prussia ;-))
Step 3: Select a location
You'll now be taken to step 3 where you're supposed to chose the location of the company.
Bubblews is located in San Francisco, California so select this option by checking the radio button beside it. Then, click on the "next" button.
Are you planning to file a complaint against Bubblews to the Better Business Bureau?
Step 4: Categorize your complaint
This part is kind of tricky. At least, I found it to be rather tricky. You will be asked to choose a general and then a specific category from the drop-down list that they provide.
If you look at the Bubblews complaints posted on the Better Business Bureau site, you can see the categories that people selected when they filed their complaint.
But you'll also see that not everyone chose the same categories even though their complaints are all about nonpayment.
Some of the categories you can choose include "billing or collection issues", "delayed completion of service", or "problem with product or service". It's up to you to choose the category that best fits your complaint or you can just go with the categories that are already listed on the Bubblews complaint page on the BBB site. After making your decision, click the "next" button.
- BBB will blot out your personal info from being displayed on their site so feel free to include all the relevant details like your PayPal email and Bubblews username to save yourself the trouble
- I also advice you to add the email address that you used to sign up or create an account on Bubblews
- Why do you need all this info? Because Bubblews' response to the BBB was to ask me for my username (even though I already listed this when I filed my complaint) and email ad (I listed my PayPal email but it looks like they also want the exact email you used to create your account there)
Step 5: Describe your complaint to us
This is the part where you explain the situation to the BBB. You will be provided with three textboxes and they all have a limit to the number of characters that you can use but don't let that stop you. You should still be able to explain everything even with the limit.
The first textbox is where you will need to type the summary of your entire complaint. The second is where you will input all the relevant details and information regarding what happened. This is the part where you can explain when you redeemed, how much you were supposed to get, etc.
The third is where you can input your desired settlement, which is what you want Bubblews to do about your complaint so here is where you can say that you are hoping to get paid whatever amount they owe you.
Tips on what to include on your Bubblews complaint to the BBB:
- You can explain how you followed all of the Bubblews rules - like how all of your posts are above the minimum 400 character requirement, how you never left spam comments or went on mass liking sprees, etc.
- You can explain how you never plagiarized or spammed the site, how you didn't engage in fraudulent activity and how you didn't try to manipulate the system or participate in like exchange groups
- You can also mention the Bubblews Terms of Service (TOS) and how they say there that the changes they make to the site will not be applied retroactively
- You can add that you're not the only one having problems with the site and that a lot of other people also lost a lot thanks to what this site did
*Note that these are just tips and based on what I included in my own complaint form so feel free to say whatever you want to say but refrain or do not include profanities and threats otherwise the BBB might not process your complaint.
More about the Bubblews Terms of Service
"Changes will not apply retroactively"
— Old Bubblews TOS
Did you know that Bubblews changed their TOS and it was effective on the 11th of December 2014? I honestly didn't. I only found out after the December 31 announcement since everyone was talking about it. Do you think it was right for the site to make changes to their TOS without telling their members about it? Other sites send emails to their members if there are significant changes to their terms and policies so how come Bubblews didn't do that?
The last TOS I remember reading and agreeing to is archived here - http://web.archive.org/web/20141205032927/http://www.bubblews.com/page/tos.
"Material modifications will not apply retroactively... what constitutes “material” will be determined by Bubblews in its sole discretion"
— Latest Bubblews TOS
If you look at the excerpts from their TOS that I featured to the right, you can see that both mention the retroactive part but, the latest TOS is more favorable towards Bubblews with the addition of the "sole discretion" statement. The old TOS didn't have those words.
If Bubblews says that changes won't apply retroactively, then why did they apply the latest redemption changes retroactively? Was it right, legal and fair for them to just delete, erase or remove the pending redemptions of so many people just because they happened to redeem before the 11th of November?
Even ordinary people have rights & a voice. Let yours be heard!
To those who have been hurt, those who felt that they were treated unfairly, and those who felt upset and angry - if we stay united, if everyone tries to complain and let their voices and opinions be heard, then maybe, just maybe, something can actually be done.
Will you continue to remain silent without fighting for your rights or will you stand up for what you believe in?
- After filing your complaint, all you can do now is wait
- BBB will contact Bubblews and, as soon as the site responds (they have 10 working days to do so), BBB will forward the response to you
After you finish explaining the entire situation to the BBB, just click on the "submit" button.
You will be taken to a new page which will show you the entire complaint form that you just filled out along with all the information that you just typed. You will also be given a case number for reference.
How would you rate Bubblews in terms of its communication, customer service or member support and payments?
Questions? Need more help?
If this article helped you or if you know someone that can be helped by this article, then please feel free to share it. There are no Adsense ads here (don't have a Google AdSense account) so I'm not getting anything from this hub (well, unless someone decides to use either of the only 2 Amazon links here (needed more pics for illustration purposes + Hetalia, 'nough said :-)) to go get stuff from Amazon).
Anyway, if you have any questions or need clarifications about any of this, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to help :-).
- First image is by sayuko (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Last pic is by Kazenokaze (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
© 2015 Freya Yuki