Chicago, IL March, 4, 2009 – In 2008 the number of people contacting the Chicago Better Business Bureau for a report on a business jumped 71 percent over the previous year and that trend continues nationally. Figures from the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Arlington, VA show inquiries topped 63 million nationwide. That is 15 percent more than in 2007 a sign that consumers in Chicago and northern Illinois as well as across the country are getting smarter by investigating companies before doing business with them.
“We are very pleased that the BBB has become a greater resource for consumers who are following our advice to check out the record of a business first before signing a contract or making a purchase,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business of Chicago and Northern Illinois. “If consumers would consistently do this simple first step, there would be many fewer upset and dissatisfied shoppers.”
While the total number of inquires received through out the U.S. was 60,275,584 the number of people filing complaints remained fairly steady up only seven percent from 803,902 in ’07 to 862,128 last year. Complaint numbers for the Chicago BBB reflected a similar trend up just 2 percent in 2008.
The reason for the varied increases, says Bernas, is a concerted effort by the Better Business Bureau to educate consumers through the use of billboards, print and online advertising, and publicity.
“Our advertising campaign supports the theme of using the BBB to ‘Find businesses you can trust!’ It appears that consumers are taking us up on our offer in record numbers,” explains Bernas.
The top 10 business categories receiving inquiries in 2008 were: Roofing Contractors; Contractors-General; Mortgage Brokers; Movers; Construction & Remodeling Services; Auto Dealers-New Cars; Work-At-Home Cos.; Auto Repair & Service; Plumbing Contractors; Home Builders.
And for complaints in 2008 the top ten were: Cellular Phones Service & Equipment; Auto Dealers-New Cars; Banks; Internet Shopping; Television – Cable CATV & Satellite; Collection Agencies; Auto Dealers-Used Cars; Furniture-Retail; Telephone Companies; Satellite Equipment & Supplies.
Consumers seeking Free BBB Business Reliability Reports can visit our website at www.bbb.org