[Tips]The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Online Surveys

The Better Business Bureau is an organization which serves to act as a neutral liaison between consumers and companies when conflicts arise. The BBB was founded in 1912 and has over 130 offices in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

The BBB offers two types of seals businesses can earn:

1.Certified Participant of the BBBOnLine Privacy Program
This seal is awarded to businesses that adhere to the standards set out by the BBBOnLine program, which include having the online privacy notice meet rigorous privacy principles, completing a comprehensive privacy assessment, monitoring and review by a trusted organization, and participation in the programs consumer dispute resolution system.

2.BBBOnLine Reliability Participation Confirmed
This seal assures users that the company displaying this award has made a commitment to high levels of ethical business practices and customer satisfaction, the company has been in business for more than one year, they have a satisfactory record with the Better Business Bureau and are committed to work with customers and the BBB to resolve matters in the case of a dispute.

...Back to legitimate survey providers.

3.Articles by the Better Business Bureau
Is This Survey for Real?
An article by the BBB which provides basic criteria on how to evaluate if an online, mail, or telephone survey is legitimate. Tips include watching for "red flags" such as being pressured to buy something, as well as asking marketers to provide contact information about the research company conducting the survey.
Shop, Dine AND Get Paid?
Another article by the BBB which is a great read for anyone interested in becoming a mystery shopper. Tips include staying away from firms asking for a fee to mystery shop, as well as checking with the BBB on prior company claims.

Just because an online survey company does not bear a BBB seal, does not mean that they are illegitimate. BBB seals must be purchased, and some businesses do not wish to incur the expense.