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BBB Mediation Program

A Fair and Efficient Program To Assist In Dealing With Disagreements

WHAT IS MEDIATION?

  • A confidential negotiation facilitated by a trained, neutral third party mediator.
  • A chance to find common ground by speaking about what is important to you and listening to what matters to the other party.
  • An opportunity to resolve your dispute in a private, non-litigious environment.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE MEDIATION?

Mediation Saves Money → Choosing mediation can eliminate court costs and reduce or eliminate attorney fees. Accredited Businesses receive unlimited mediation as a benefit.

Mediation Saves Time → Many cases are resolved in one session with sessions lasting approximately two hours.

The Parties Decide → Both the business and the consumer have the opportunity to share their perspective and be heard. The parties generate options and agree on a solution; the mediator is not a part of the final agreement.

Restoring Relationships → In a setting where collaboration and mutual agreement are the goals, there is a better chance for two parties to understand one another’s perspectives. Often parties are able to keep a positive relationship with one another.

No Pressure → Mediation is a voluntary process. A mediator will make every effort to facilitate the reaching of an agreement, but you are under no obligation to make a final decision. If you are experiencing a disagreement with a consumer or business, try mediation —you may find resolution without the added stress of more formal, stringent processes. Check out the BBB Rules of Mediation.


AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PARTIES TO DEVELOP THEIR OWN SOLUTIONS

Often, people think of mediation as a time for compromise, or having to give up something they want. This is not necessarily the case. When disputing parties have a chance to hear each other, they often find creative ways to resolve the dispute by collaborating, and not compromising.

Participation in mediation is voluntary, and a solution is not imposed on the parties. One of the greatest benefits of mediation is that the parties work together to discuss their dispute, generate ideas for resolving it, and decide together what the solution will be. By finding their own solution to the dispute, the parties are more likely to follow through with the agreement.


THE MEDIATOR’S ROLE

When you enter into mediation, BBB will select a mediator for your case. A mediator does not have personal or business ties to either party in the dispute that could interfere with the impartial nature of the mediation session. It is not the role of the mediator to judge, advise, counsel or select a solution for the parties.

The Mediator

  • Summarizes, restates, and prioritizes
  • Assists in generating or clarifying options
  • Serves as neutral facilitator
  • Evaluates options and possible consequences
  • Identifies areas of mutual interest
  • Enforces the ground rules
GettyImages-958531338-mediation

CONTRACT VERBIAGE WHEN USING BBB MEDIATION/ARBITRATION

When a business desires to use BBB mediation and/or arbitration services as an alternative to litigation in the court system for a dispute arising out of an agreement, the customer’s purchase contract should read:

"You and we agree to submit any dispute arising under this agreement, with the exception of disputes alleging criminal or statutory violations, to binding arbitration in accordance with the BBB Rules of Binding Arbitration (Pre-Dispute). A volunteer BBB arbitrator will render a decision that the arbitrator considers to be fair; in doing so, the arbitrator is not required to apply legal principles. The arbitrator's decision will be final and binding on both you and us, and judgment on the decision may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. All administrative fees for the arbitration will be paid by the business. Further information about BBB arbitration may be obtained by contacting BBB Northwest + Pacific at 208-342-4649. This Agreement to Arbitrate affects important legal rights. Neither of us will be able to go to court for disputes that must be arbitrated. NEITHER OF US WILL BE COMMITTED BY THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE UNLESS YOU SIGN BELOW, IN WHICH EVENT WE WILL BOTH BE COMMITTED:

Accepted:__________________________ Date:_________________"

This is the only proper wording for a company to include in their contract that requires a customer to use BBB mediation and arbitration before going to court. For questions or concerns please reach out to complaints [at] thebbb.org

BBB Arbitration Program

A Fair and Efficient Program To Assist In Resolving Disagreements

BBB has been a leader in dispute resolution since the start of our first arbitration program in the 1970’s. Since then, we have developed industry specific arbitration programs, including BBB AUTOLINE, for automobile warranty disputes, moving and storage arbitration, and a specific program for telecommunication disputes. No matter the industry, BBB has an arbitration program to assist in the resolution of your dispute. Accredited Businesses enjoy one free arbitration per year and preferential rates after that, so ask your BBB representative how you can become a BBB Accredited Business. When it comes to contract disputes, make the right choice and let BBB do the work for you.

WHAT IS ARBITRATION?

Arbitration is a process in which a dispute is submitted to a neutral, trained, and certified BBB volunteer, who hears testimony, examines the evidence, and renders a written, legally binding decision. To learn more about BBB’s arbitration process, check out the BBB Rules of BBB Arbitration


WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE ARBITRATION?

Whether your company is a small local business or large national corporation, we are here to share our expertise and experience with you and your customers. BBB is a recognized leader in the design, development and implementation of dispute resolution programs. 

Arbitration Saves Money → BBB offers arbitration to businesses and consumers at a low cost or are free for Accredited Businesses. Parties are not required to obtain legal representation, sparing them the high cost of attorney’s fees.

Arbitration Saves Time → BBB will work with you to expedite the resolution of your dispute. Courts have substantial backlogs and cases may take years to go to trial. In contrast, most BBB arbitration hearings take place and are concluded within 30 days of initiation.

The Parties Are Heard → BBB arbitration procedures give both parties the opportunity to express positions, share and rebut testimony, ask questions, and present evidence.

Convenient Scheduling →BBB arbitration hearings are always scheduled with consideration for the convenience of participants. BBB offers arbitration by phone, making hearings more accessible to those who are unable to travel to the BBB office.

Privacy → BBB arbitration is conducted in private, and arbitration records are kept confidential by BBB. Court litigation is open to the public. Documents presented in court, unless sealed by the court, become public.


THE ARBITRATOR'S ROLE

When you enter into arbitration, BBB will select a volunteer arbitrator for your case. This arbitrator does not have personal or business ties to either party in the dispute that could interfere with the impartial nature of the arbitration process. It is the role of the arbitrator to review the evidence, listen to the parties, and render a decision.

The Arbitrator

  • Listens to both parties testimony
  • Examines the evidence presented
  • Serves as a neutral party
  • Evaluates options and possible consequences
  • Resolves the dispute with an award
  • Renders a written decision
GettyImages-923039580-arbitration

CONTRACT VERBIAGE WHEN USING BBB MEDIATION/ARBITRATION

When a business desires to use BBB mediation and/or arbitration services as an alternative to litigation for a dispute arising out of an agreement, the customer’s purchase contract should read:

"You and we agree to submit any dispute arising under this agreement, with the exception of disputes alleging criminal or statutory violations, to binding arbitration in accordance with the BBB Rules of Binding Arbitration (Pre-Dispute). A volunteer BBB arbitrator will render a decision that the arbitrator considers to be fair; in doing so, the arbitrator is not required to apply legal principles. The arbitrator's decision will be final and binding on both you and us, and judgment on the decision may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. All administrative fees for the arbitration will be paid by the business. Further information about BBB arbitration may be obtained by contacting BBB Northwest + Pacific at 208-342-4649. This Agreement to Arbitrate affects important legal rights. Neither of us will be able to go to court for disputes that must be arbitrated. NEITHER OF US WILL BE COMMITTED BY THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE UNLESS YOU SIGN BELOW, IN WHICH EVENT WE WILL BOTH BE COMMITTED:

Accepted:__________________________ Date:_________________"

This is the only proper wording for a company to include in their contract that requires a customer to use BBB mediation and arbitration before going to court. For questions or concerns please reach out to complaints [at] thebbb.org

Our mediation and arbitration process is less costly than litigation, and is user friendly. Scheduling is convenient for both parties. It is an informal process that is less intimidating. The process is confidential, and decisions are made in a timely manner. 

Respond to a Customer Review

Go to bbb.org/northwest/login. Enter your email address and password. Click on Customer Review Center to view and respond to customer reviews of your business and access the link to help promote your customer reviews.

Click View to view the BBB Customer Review and respond/comment.

BBB review response interface

From here you will be able to comment on any customer reviews about your business on bbb.org. Please understand that the Customer Review and your response will be publicly posted on the BBB website.

BBB Customer review policy and verification

Respond to an Open Complaint

Go to bbb.org/northwest/login. Enter your email address and password. Click on Manage Disputes for an opportunity to respond to any complaint against your business.

You may only use this tool if you received the complaint vie email and you have an email address – which must be the same as the one on file with BBB .

BBB Customer review login