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Use of free BBB services in Vermont grows

100px-Better_Business_Bureau.svgBy Paula Fleming

Special to the Observer

The work of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) reached new heights in Vermont over the past year, as the consumer rights organization continued its work offering free resources like BBB’s Scam Tracker and online customer reviews.

So far in 2016, Vermont consumers have reported 25 scams in the state alone, using the free BBB Scam Tracker, an online service that allows consumers to search, read and report scams that have affected them.

The Better Business Bureau has existed for more than 100 years with the mission of helping people find trustworthy businesses and brands. In 2015, the organization helped consumers by offering reviews on 5.3 million businesses nationally, which can be found at bbb.org. More than 172 million visits to the reviews were made last year, the group said.

Vermonters’ top three types of businesses inquired about so far this year were insurance companies, roofing contractors and used-car dealers. Consumers have also submitted nearly 400 reviews on local Vermont businesses this year.

In the past six months, the organization’s community relations team has visited Vermont on nine occasions to meet with BBB-accredited business owners, speak to local organizations, and participate in trade shows with local businesses.

“BBB is focusing on reaching even more businesses and consumers in Vermont,” said Paula Fleming, spokesperson for BBB Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont, which was founded in 1920.

Vermont’s BBB works in tandem with the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The BBB website also offers resources in dispute resolution, advertising review and industry self-regulation.

Paula Fleming is VP of Communications and Marketing for Better Business Bureau serving Eastern MA, ME, RI and VT.