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Seal Of Approval

Does your business get the thumbs-up from the BBB?

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This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As online commerce increases in use and popularity, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) has introduced a program that authorizes Web sites to display a BBBOnLine seal. To obtain authorization, companies must be a member of their local BBB, provide information about ownership and management, submit to an on-site inspection, have a satisfactory complaint-handling record from the BBB, vow to respond quickly to consumer complaints, and agree to arbitration to resolve any issues regarding their online practices.

Customers who visit one of the Web sites can click on the seal to verify that the company is a legitimate participant in the program. The seal is linked to a participation report, which provides additional information about the company. If participation cannot be confirmed, the customer receives a "not confirmed" message and BBBOnLine is sent an automatic e-mail message so the site can be investigated.

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