Back to School Preparation Tips for Parents

Back to School Preparation Tips for Parents

Preparing children for the end of summer vacation and the start of the school year is something all parents look forward to yet dread at the same time. After three months of unfettered freedom, children are no longer in “school” mode, i.e., going to bed early, getting up early, completing homework, and often experience a rough transition period when abruptly faced with these changes. Fortunately, there are many ideas and activities that can help parents make the switch from the lazy days of summer to the more structured regimen of school less stressful and more enjoyable for parents and kids.

5 “Must-Do” Back to School Preparation Tips for Parents and Kids

  1. Get kids back on a school sleep schedule two weeks before the first day of school. Put them to bed by 9:00 pm and gradually get them used to getting up early. For example, let them sleep as late as they want the first couple of days, then start getting them up 15 minutes earlier each day. By the time school starts, their brains and bodies will be used to the schedule and you won’t have to deal with grumpy children in the morning.
  2. Take your child to your family physician for a check-up and your eye doctor for a vision examination. Treating any health or vision problems before school starts will greatly improve your child’s ability to succeed academically and may help prevent unnecessary absences.
  3. Establish a quiet study area in your home or in your child’s bedroom where they can do their homework without being distracted. Include your child in picking out a desk, desk lamp and other accessories to show you are truly interested in your child’s education.
  4. Some younger, more introverted children may worry about whether their new teacher is “nice” or “mean” but rarely talk about this fear with their parents. You can help calm your child’s fears about a new teacher by taking him to visit his teacher a day or two before school. If your child is going to attend a new school, this would also be a great time to familiarize him with the school by showing him the layout of the school (location of his room, the cafeteria, restrooms, etc.) and where the bus will pick him up and drop him off.
  5. Let your child take an active role in picking out his school supplies, bookbag and school clothes. Splurging on a few, nonessential items while ensuring she has the necessary supplies will make any child feel better about going back to school.

Quick and Easy Back to School Preparation Tips

  • Start organizing carpools or other transportation arrangements several weeks before school starts. Have “just-in-case” back-up plans ready to streamline last-minute disruptions
  • Read through school conduct rules and regulations with your children. Make sure they understand them and advise them there are serious consequences for violating them.
  • If your child is walking to school for the first time, take him along the route he is supposed to follow several times. If possible, scout out neighbors who live along that route and let your child know they can stop at certain houses while walking to school if they need help for any reason.
  • Encourage children to be self-sufficient as they can be, according to their abilities. For example, all school-age children can lay out their school clothes the night before a school day or have their backpacks ready before going to bed. Anything you can think of that can be done at night will help streamline the morning routine.
  • Remember to make sure your child either has lunch money or a packed lunch to take to school. Pack lunches the night before so you don’t have to spend time packing them in the morning or have your child pack his own lunch before going to bed.

And the Best Back to School Tip for Parents?

Get as much done as possible before school starts. Waiting until the last minute to buy new clothes, gather school supplies, develop a transportation plan or prepare your child’s brain and body for the rigors of school life only places needless stress on you and your child. A stressed child naturally feels less motivated to do well academically since all their energy is directed towards coping with the powerfully decentralizing force of anxiety.

To learn more about preparing you and your child for another school year, visit these helpful resources:

http://www.thelearningcommunity.us/resources-by-format/tips-for-parents/back-to-school.aspx

http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/parents/LearnPtnrs/ready.html

http://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/partnership-tips.html

http://www.hfrp.org/publications-resources/browse-our-publications/getting-parents-ready-for-kindergarten-the-role-of-early-childhood-education

http://www.schoolfamily.com/back2school

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Getting Paid to Drive? It’s Too Good to Be True

road-people-street-smartphone
Image courtesy of Pexels.com

When you’re in between jobs or in need of some supplemental income, it’s hard to say no to the prospect of earning fast, easy money. But honest income generally doesn’t come without putting in some effort, so be cautious of any money-making opportunity that offers a high return for little to no work on your part. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

When Sue, a consumer from Lakewood, Wash., received the below email, she was excited at the idea of making money just by putting a company logo on her car. The email said she would be “paid to drive” $800 a week—more than a lot of people earn with a full-time job—just by wrapping her car with an advertisement.

From: Michael
To: Sue
Subject: Toms Job Position
Date: Tue, 12 May 2015 00:31:04 +0200
Greetings,
We are currently seeking to employ individual’s in the USA.
How would you like to make money by simply driving your car advertising for Hennessy, JOHNNIE WALKER, Pepsi, Coke, Apple Product or TOMS shoes.
How it works
Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive”
Concept: AUTO WRAP seeks people — regular citizens, professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with an advert for “AUTO WRAP” plastered on your car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “AUTO WRAP” that’s almost seem to be painted on the vehicle and which will cover any portion of your car’s exterior surface.
What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure and awareness. The AUTO WRAP tend to be colorful, eye-catching and attract lots of attention when you are stuck in traffic and people can’t avoid seeing the advert on your car alongside them. This program will last for 6 months and the minimum you can participate is 3 months.
We are offering $1,600 every 2 weeks and also an advance payment of $500, the logo will be placed on both doors or the hood of your car if you are interested.
No fee is required from you, “AUTO WRAP” will provide experts who will be responsible for placing and removal of the logo when your contract expires.
Kindly send me the required information’s below.
Please respond only if interested.
Michael
Promotional Manager
TOMS

When Sue responded to the email, she was asked for her personal information, including full name and address. She was then told a check would be mailed to her for an up-front payment and to cover the car-wrapping costs.

Fortunately at that point, Sue grew suspicious and reached out to BBB for guidance.

While there may be a handful of legitimate companies that pay you a bit of money to stick their logo on your personal vehicle, the unsolicited email Sue received is not how they go about hiring people.

What generally happens in this all-too-common scam is the victim will be sent a check for more money than was promised. He will be instructed to deposit the check in his account, wire a portion of it to someone else, and keep the rest. Little does he know the check is fake, and he becomes responsible for the bank’s losses after he’s wired real money to a fraudster. Scammers ask for money to be wired to them because it’s virtually untraceable, like handing someone a wad of cash.

Here are the warning signs of a car-wrapping scam:

  • You’re told all you have to do is sign up, and you’ll be selected. The truth is that the odds are against you. A legitimate company told Bankrate.com they have more than one million drivers in their database—and they’ve hired only 6,000 of them in the last six years.
  • You’re offered the job on the spot. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him; they won’t offer a job to someone without going through an interview first.
  • The company wants you to send them money. You should never pay up-front fees to receive employment. And no legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask him to wire the money elsewhere.
  • The company promises a free car. There is no such thing as a company that will give you a free car.
  • There are typos and bad grammar. If a job offer is truly coming from a well known brand such as TOMS or Pepsi, the email or letter won’t be riddled with mistakes and poor writing.

Oregon AG’s Office Puts Magazine Subscription Scam Out of Business

Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon State Attorney General
Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon State Attorney General

We received big news this week from the Oregon Attorney General’s Office when Ellen Rosenblum announced a $3 million settlement with Publisher’s Payment Processing.

According to the AG’s office, the White City company had operated a nationwide scam through a newspaper and magazine subscription ruse.

The numbers are staggering.

Better Business Bureau has received more than 800 complaints against the company within the last 3 years. These include sales and delivery issues as well as problems with service. The most common complaint was billing and collection issues. The volume of complaints, as well as the company’s failure to respond to many of them, have contributed to an F rating for the business.

Consumers told BBB they received bills from the company for magazines they already have subscriptions for, implying it was time for renewal. However, those consumers told us the subscriptions had not expired and they did not originally order from Publisher’s Payment Processing. What’s more, some consumers said the company claimed to have the lowest renewal fee, but they found they could get a better price if they ordered through their magazine’s publisher directly. Many told BBB that Publisher’s Payment Processing would charge a $20 processing fee just to cancel renewals.

The AG’s office says the settlement is not an admission of guilt, but Publisher’s Payment Processing will have to pay up to $500,000 in restitution to Oregon consumers who overpaid or did not receive their magazines. Service fees will also be refunded to Oregonians who have previously received refunds.

“This was a sophisticated operation that generated millions of dollars each year from consumers across the country who thought they were doing business with a reputable magazine or newspaper publisher, but were instead working with a company that made its money by scamming them,” Rosenblum said. “It’s a particular embarrassment to the legitimate Oregon business community when national companies based here don’t play by the rules. The only option was to shut them down—and we have.”

Read the complete Assurance of Voluntary Compliance here.

7 Ways to Research a Business Before Hiring Them

Image courtesy of Adamophoto | http://freerangestock.com/
Image courtesy of Adamophoto | freerangestock.com

Creating and launching a business website that looks completely legitimate takes about 30 minutes. But it takes less than five minutes for a consumer to get scammed by one of these rogue, “fly-by-night” websites that are here today and gone tomorrow—with your money.

Double-dealing “brick-and-mortar” businesses continue to exist as well, simply because most consumers aren’t sure how to begin researching a business before interacting with them.

Although the Internet harbors millions of scam artists who prey every day on unsuspecting consumers, the Web also provides portals through which anyone can perform a background check on virtually any business in the world.

7 Ways to Research a Business
  1. Search for a U.S. or Canadian business on Better Business Bureau’s website or call your local BBB. You’ll find a company’s rating (from A+ through F) along with a history of customer complaints. BBB also provides information about the services or products the business offers and whether government actions have ever been taken against the business. If the business is a BBB Accredited Business, that means the business has agreed to uphold BBB’s eight standards for trust.
  2. Contact your home or auto insurance agent for advice about directing to you dependable and professional businesses. Because insurance companies deal with a wide variety of commercial businesses, your agent may be able to help you discover whether a business is exceptional or substandard.
  3. Every U.S. business is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, a government organization whose goal is to protect consumers from unfair trade practices and other unethical business activities. On the FTC website, you can search for news about a particular company relevant to your research. Likewise, the American Bar Association oversees law firms and attorneys, while the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission standardizes financial entities.
  4. Search local, county and state civil and criminal court records for litigation cases containing the company’s name. Businesses that own property or have filed bankruptcy in the past may be included in country or state tax records if there is a lien against their property. Federal district and bankruptcy courts may also shed further light on the reputation of the business. In addition to running the company’s name through a search portal, checking the names of owners, co-owners and employees may also turn up interesting information pertinent to your research.
  5. Request a business credit/background report from Experian, Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet or LexisNexis. You will be charged a fee per report, but these are highly reputable services that are known to maintain accurate information on most businesses operating in the U.S.
  6. Don’t forget to check social media sites for potentially compelling information. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter may offer insights from other customers who have used the company. However, beware of review sites such as Yelp—what reviewers say about a business may be fueled by reasons more personal than business-related, which offers nothing helpful to your research. Take what’s said on those review sites with a grain of salt.
  7. If you don’t have the time or desire to do a comprehensive background search on a business, you can always hire a private detective or professional background check company that specializes in accessing lesser known databases and performing on-site investigations.
About Better Business Bureau
  • BBB is one of the best places to begin researching a business because of its easily navigable interface and the wealth of information provided by its database. In addition, businesses that are accredited by BBB and display BBB’s seal on their website or advertisements are favored by consumers over non-accredited businesses. In fact, 74% of consumers prefer to do business with BBB Accredited Businesses, as stated in a Roper survey.
  • A BBB Accredited Business maintains adherence to stringent BBB standards that include consistently applying ethical business practices to all facets of the company, protecting customer privacy, using honest advertising strategies and remaining as transparent as possible to customers.

Taking the time to research a business before hiring them may save you a lot of money, stress and time lost pursuing a potentially lost cause.

For Safe Travels, Take Precautions to Avoid Scams

Image courtesy of fito | freerangestock.com
Image courtesy of fito | freerangestock.com

‘Tis the season for summer vacations! Whether traveling in your home state, throughout the U.S. or to a foreign country, taking precautions and knowing about potential scams could save you from a ruined vacation.

Book Online Securely

When booking travel arrangements and hotels online, it is safer to go to a company’s official website or call them directly. Do not click on online ads or links from emails. If using travel search engines, be wary of sites that offer prices significantly lower than other sites. If you choose to book through a third-party booking company, follow up directly with the hotel, airline or rental car company. You don’t want to find out after you arrive at a destination that the reservations were never made!

secure
URL security

Make sure you have a secure connection before entering your personal or financial information; the web address or URL should start with “https” and show a lock icon.

Always pay with a credit card when booking vacations, and make sure you receive confirmation in writing. In the event that something goes awry with your vacation, you may be able to file a chargeback with your credit card company. If you are asked to wire money for a rental, that’s a big red flag that the deal is probably not legitimate. Never wire money to someone you do not personally know and trust.

Do Your Research

BBB has seen numerous reports of vacationers arriving at their destination only to find that the rental doesn’t exist or does not resemble the photos online. Use trusted websites, ask friends for referrals or use a travel agent to ensure you’re going to get what you pay for.

Be skeptical about vacation packages that are offered online, by email or on the phone. If a cruise or resort price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Victims are often saddled with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in additional “fees,” or the accommodations may be totally inadequate.

Also watch out for promises of “free” airline tickets—there’s always a catch. Victims are often lured with promises of free plane tickets to attend a seminar, which usually involves spending thousands of dollars to buy into a vacation club. Those tickets turn out to be only vouchers with fees that often cost more than a regularly priced plane ticket. And the vacation club? If you did buy in, you might find there are many barriers to actually booking a vacation unless you upgrade your membership or pay additional fees.

Travel Safely

Remember to notify your credit card companies before you leave, especially if you are traveling to foreign countries. There aren’t many things more frustrating and inconvenient than having your credit card declined while traveling because the company thinks it’s being used fraudulently.

During travel and once you arrive at your destination, surf cautiously on public Wi-Fi networks (e.g. hotels, airports, coffee shops, libraries). Avoid file sharing and financial transactions, and disconnect when not in use. Be wary of hotel lobby computers available for guests. Identity thieves have been known to add keyloggers onto public computers that track passwords. Believe it or not, your smartphone’s 3G or 4G may be more secure.

While staying in a hotel, carefully scrutinize any menus that are slipped under your door. Fraudsters sometimes use phony menus to trick a guest into calling them to order food, and the consumer ends up giving his credit card information to identity thieves. And of course, no food will be delivered.

Beware of fake front desk phone calls, especially late at night. A scammer pretending to be hotel staff will claim there was a problem with your credit card, and ask you to confirm your card details over the phone. Don’t do it! Personally check with the front desk in the morning to correct any billing issues.

At the end of your hotel stay, check your final bill. Watch for fees that you didn’t incur, such as minibar purchases or TV on-demand movie rentals.


Be vigilant and careful when planning your vacation, and then go and have a wonderful time!

7 Tips for Writing Good Online Reviews [Infographic]

7-Tips-Infographic

Go to bbb.org to write a customer review today!

Aim for a Hassle-Free Move with BBB’s Tips

movingmonthMoving is never easy. In fact, it can be a real hassle, especially on a fixed budget. I’ve done it at least a dozen times since I graduated college, moving all across the country. And while I consider myself a savvy consumer, I have made a few big mistakes along the way.

Some of the worst moving stories I’ve heard, however, happened while I was working as a TV news reporter.

I remember interviewing a family who moved to the Seattle area from the Midwest and literally had their personal belongings held hostage by the moving company. The family was verbally quoted one price and then charged more mid-trip. Unable to pay, the movers held on the family’s belongings and starting charging them daily for storage costs.

Eventually law enforcement got involved, but that wasn’t until six months after the family had already moved. They were living in an empty apartment and sleeping on their clothes. They chose to go with movers who quoted them a low a price, and they never got anything in writing—and they learned a tough lesson from that experience.

Sadly, rogue movers are everywhere, giving the industry as a whole a black eye. In March, Better Business Bureau teamed up with the Oregon Department of Transportation in an undercover sting operation where law enforcement busted several illegal movers.

Then for National Moving Month in May, BBB worked with the Washington State Utilities & Transportation Commission to issue a news release with safe moving tips.

Within 24 hours of sending out that release, BBB and UTC appeared on local TV news programs 26 times, reaching an estimated 250,000 households. Each time, consumers were urged to check bbb.org first to find movers they can trust.

Before a customer even packs a box, BBB and UTC offer the following tips for hiring a moving company:

  • Contact the UTC to confirm the company has a valid permit and inquire about any consumer complaints. Call 888-333-9882 or visit utc.wa.gov/movingtips.
  • Check with BBB to find out the company’s rating and determine if there are any complaints filed against them. Start at bbb.org/search.
  • Be sure to receive a free written estimate—moving companies are required to provide one.
  • Get estimates from at least three different companies and do not make a decision based on price alone.
  • Finally, do not sign any incomplete documents. Make sure all forms are as complete as possible.

The bottom line: moving can be hassle-free if you take the time to research businesses and get everything writing. Remember that estimates are only educated guesses, but final prices can vary depending on the actual services performed. From what I’ve seen, most problems arise from disagreements about estimates, liabilities or damages.

If you have an issue with a moving company that you just can’t resolve on your own, file a complaint with BBB and the appropriate government agency.

Heaven forbid you ever have an experience like the Seattle family I interviewed—but if you do, call law enforcement immediately.

Watch Out for IRS Scams

Image courtesy of Adamophoto | freerangestock.com

During the final two weeks of the tax filing season, scammers are increasing their efforts to impersonate the Internal Revenue Service in attempts to steal money or personal information from consumers.

Taxpayers should be alert for these two common IRS scams.

1. The Phone Scam

You receive a phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent. They demand immediate payment via prepaid card or wire transfer, and they threaten you with jail time, deportation or driver’s license suspension. They may even know the last four digits of your Social Security number or other personal information.

The truth: The IRS will never call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill or giving you the opportunity to appeal the amount they claim you owe. They will not ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, nor will they require you use a specific payment method. They will not threaten you.

How to spot the scam:

  • You have received nothing in the mail from the IRS.
  • They demand payment immediately.
  • They threaten to get the local police or an immigration agency involved.

What to do:

  • If you know or suspect you do owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. They can help you with a payment issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484 or report it online at the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting Page.
  • File a report through the Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Complaint Assistant. Include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

2. The Email Scam

You receive an email that claims to be from the IRS, telling you that you’re eligible to receive a tax refund for a given amount. It instructs you to click on a link in the email to access a form for the tax refund. The form requires the entry of personal and financial information.

The truth: Taxpayers do not have to complete a special form to obtain a refund; refunds are based on the tax return they submit to the IRS. The IRS does not initiate taxpayer contact via unsolicited email or ask for personal identifying or financial information via email.

How to spot the scam:

  • The email requests detailed personal and financial information.
  • It dangles bait to get you to respond to the email and threatens a consequence for not responding.
  • It gets the Internal Revenue Service or other federal agency names wrong.
  • It uses incorrect grammar or odd phrasing.
  • It links to a site that’s not the actual IRS website (www.irs.gov).

What to do:

  • Do not open any attachments or click on any links in the email.
  • Contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 to determine if the IRS is truly trying to contact you.
  • Forward the suspicious email to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov, then delete the email from your inbox.

Lottery Scams Target Seniors

junkmail
One day’s worth of mail for one victim.

Better Business Bureau sees scams reported to us by individuals in all age groups, but I have particularly noted that lottery scams appear to prey on seniors. Or maybe seniors are more susceptible to this type of scam because of their age.

Just in the past few months, I have had reports of three different individuals, ranging in age from late 60s to early 90s, who have fallen victim to lottery scams. We’re not talking a few hundred dollars, either. Two of these victims have sent more than $30,000, and the third has wired more than $100,000 to scammers. And they haven’t just been scammed once, but several times. Who knows if it was the same or different con artists that scammed these individuals multiple times?

It appears that once someone falls victim to a scam, their name ends up on a list. These lists of “easy targets” are often sold or traded between scammers.

I spoke to one woman who sent checks to alleged charities that requested money for sick children. She received phone calls as well as letters asking for her help. She told me it was difficult to turn down these requests because they involved children. Now she receives upwards of 40 pieces of mail a day from fake lotteries and charities. She wonders if the money she sent really went to any sick children. I don’t think so.

So why are seniors more vulnerable to these types of scams? There is evidence that as we age, we lose cognitive ability, and we may process information more slowly. These scammers are skilled at convincing the elderly that they must act now or they will lose out on their winnings. They are coerced into making instant decisions, leaving the individual no time to think, research or talk to family members. Additionally, seniors may be isolated and living alone. They react emotionally rather than rationally.

Seniors are prime targets for financial exploitation for other reasons, too. They may have a significant nest egg, although plenty of low-income victims are at risk. At an older age, this is especially devastating because there is no time to recoup financial losses. Once victims realize they have been scammed, they may be too embarrassed to tell family members or friends. They also may not remember details to help with investigation and prosecution. In two of the cases I mentioned, the victims were eventually threatened with bodily harm to themselves or their families if they did not continue to send money to the scammers.

Some important reminders:

  • You can’t win a contest you didn’t enter.
  • It is illegal for U.S. citizens to participate in foreign lotteries.
  • You do not have to pay money in order to receive a legitimate prize.
  • Never wire money or put money on a pre-paid debit card – both are the same as sending cash. There is no way to trace the money or to get it back once sent.

One helpful note I received while doing this research: Due to multistate settlements with Western Union and Moneygram, the Attorney General’s office can request that a fraud victim be blocked from wiring money. If you have a family member who has been a victim, call 206-464-6684 (WA), 503-229-5576 (OR) or 907-269-5200 (AK) for help. Also contact your local Better Business Bureau office at 206-431-2222 (WA), 503-212-3022 (OR) or 907-562-0704 (AK) to report the experience.

What the BBB and Porch.com Partnership Means for You

bbb-porch_landingpage_headerThe best way to search business reputations just got a little bit better! On February 11, 2015, Better Business Bureau announced a partnership with Porch.com, cementing an innovative partnership intended to provide consumers with the opportunity to make more accurate, researched decisions when searching for the right home improvement professional. With convenient access to customer reviews and consumer ratings all in one opportune location, it’s easier than ever for homeowners to make the best possible choice for their home.

BBB is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1912 as a way to develop marketplace trust by providing a forum for individuals to supply company recommendations, seek conflict resolution and resolve issues with community businesses. With a solid reputation for legitimacy, BBB serves as a trustworthy way for consumers to confront problems and for companies to develop a strong reputation, offering dozens of location-specific services in metro areas all across the United States and Canada. In addition, BBB acts as an intermediary for more than four million companies, settling disputes and fostering strong relationships while maintaining one of the largest databases of reviews and complaint records in the world. In 2014, the BBB system contained more than 165 million Business Reviews, serving a strong and reliable marketplace resource. In order to boost credibility, businesses have the ability to support the BBB by becoming an Accredited Business, providing an additional level of certification and approval.

Porch, the home network, enables homeowners to make smart home improvement decisions by giving them the information they need to find the right professionals, get inspiration and manage their home. Founded by CEO and Chairman Matt Ehrlichman in 2013, Porch’s database of more than 3.2 million professionals also serves as the in-store resource for all 1,700 Lowe’s stores. The Porch App, a first of its kind app, gives homeowners direct access to a personal Porch Concierge to help find the best professionals for their home.

For small business owners and sole proprietors, Internet reputation can be extremely valuable. With the popularity of review sites, consumers rarely contact a business without spending a few minutes reading reviews and comparing similar companies. Companies with a strong and positive web presence are more likely to gain customers and do more business, making consistent, quality reviews important. By creating a partnership between one of the most reliable web sources for trustworthy reviews and ratings, Porch has the potential to become the No. 1 resource for homeowners.

The newly-forged partnership between Porch and BBB is adding a much-needed level of reliability to an already popular interface. Users of Porch are now able to see relevant BBB ratings and reviews without any additional effort in order to make the best possible decisions. Under the rating section on each contractor’s page, BBB information is available for easy access. Homeowners can quickly see a contractor’s BBB rating, Accredited Business credential and disclaimer information in order to make an informed decision with minimal effort. If a contractor is not accredited or has no ratings, this information is also included. According to the partnership terms, new information will be made available every 24 hours, ensuring that Porch users have round-the-clock access to accurate, timely information about area professionals.

Example of BBB Accredited Business in Porch.com search results
Example of BBB Accredited Business profile on Porch.com
Example of BBB Accredited Business profile on Porch.com

While BBB ratings will be available for easy access on the Porch site, the partnership will not have any effect on BBB reviews, maintaining the organization’s credibility and marketplace reliability. BBB does not provide any confidential information to partners and serves simply as a source for legitimate and trusted industry reviews. Businesses will be unable to edit or remove BBB information, ensuring that Porch users have access to dependable and unaltered information.

When two industry leaders merge, the end result is almost always beneficial for all parties involved. With the union between Better Business Bureau and Porch, homeowners can now choose contractors with the utmost confidence. Providing easy, convenient access to thousands of business reviews, certifications and ratings, consumers now have access to up-to-date, trustworthy information in order to ensure a successful pairing for families, individuals and craftsmen alike. From construction to-do-it yourself home improvement projects, each and every job is guaranteed to be a surefire success.

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