Ethics and Integrity:  Nostalgic Values in a Multimedia World

Better Business Bureau’s vision is an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other. Our mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. We do this by:

  • Setting standards for marketplace trust
  • Encouraging and supporting best practices by engaging with and educating consumers and businesses
  • Celebrating marketplace role models
  • Calling out and addressing substandard marketplace behavior
  • Creating a community of trustworthy businesses and charities

BBB has been active in the marketplace for over 100 years and continues to evolve within that marketplace, to meet the changing needs of consumers and businesses in a digital landscape.  What remains constant are eight principles that summarize important elements of creating and maintaining trust in business; the BBB Standards for Trust. Our BBB Code of Business Practices is built on these standards.

  • Build Trust
    Establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace.
  • Advertise Honestly
    Adhere to established standards of advertising and selling.
  • Tell the Truth
    Honestly represent products and services, including clear and adequate disclosures of all material terms.
  • Be Transparent
    Openly identify the nature, location, and ownership of the business, and clearly disclose all policies, guarantees and procedures that bear on a customer’s decision to buy.
  • Honor Promises
    Abide by all written agreements and verbal representations.
  • Be Responsive
    Address marketplace disputes quickly, professionally, and in good faith.
    Safeguard Privacy
    Protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of consumers regarding the use of their information.
  • Embody Integrity
    Approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity.

Integrity is adherence to moral and ethical standards.  Integrity manifests itself as honesty, honor, fairness, reliability, decency and trustworthiness.  In a business dedicated to excellence, integrity runs through the whole fabric of the organization, becoming the backbone of the structure, lending it wholeness, soundness and stability.

We’ve become accustomed to a world that requires us to protect ourselves, to exercise caution, to be on guard.  BBB issues consumer alerts and educational articles on all manner of scams, data breaches, global malware attacks and unscrupulous behaviors that arise during national crises and weather disasters.  Why mention this in the middle of an article about integrity? Simply put, to highlight society’s need for rampant integrity; as foundation and stronghold of our marketplace.

For some of us, we look back with longing to a time when a handshake sealed a deal with a contractor, a car dealer, a merchant. Or we may recall our fathers and grandfathers describing such a time.  Others among us have never known such a time.

It is the BBB’s mission to promote and celebrate an ethical marketplace.  It is our goal when we extend an invitation to BBB Accreditation to local businesses, when we publish BBB Profiles on businesses, Accredited or not, that highlight their performance and dedication to customer service.  We apply the same standards to all businesses, whether they choose to be supporters of BBB or not.

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching, with consistency.­­ To every business owner, entrepreneur, executive and manager; to all who create, build and support an ethical business; to those who treat their employees with fairness and honesty; to the leaders who strive to provide quality products and services; to those who value their customers and honor their commitments – BBB is watching and applauding you.

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