CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The Better Business Bureau is now rolling out its own version of a consumer review system. Similar to Yelp or TripAdvisor, but with one major difference: before any post is made public it first is validated by the BBB.
"We have high recognition, we're the top 96 used website in the world," said Kathy Graham, the President of the Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina.
The trusted source took a survey recently of consumers in America and Canada. The result was a clear need for an interactive review system.
"The difference between us and other sites is all our information is vetted and validated," Graham explained, saying she has people in the office that focus solely on investigating local businesses.
The reviewer has to show proof of purchase, and the BBB hopes this will cut down on falsified claims. For example, a disgruntled employee posting a negative review or an owner posing as a customer to write a positive review.
"A business is going to get complaints, but you want to see how a business responds to those complaints," Graham said.
Its an invaluable tool for a tourist based area. As Graham pointed out when people go on vacation they look through reviews online.
"They're looking at our site to see what they want to do, the hotels they want to stay in, what restaurants to eat in," Graham shared.
She explained the top two businesses searched on the site are hotels and restaurants.
The BBB tracks all that online traffic and often sees people passing up businesses if they are not listed on the BBB's website. Accredited business or not, this review system is free to both businesses and consumers.
"We are willing to work with businesses to get on the straight and narrow, to reach our standards, and run a more successful business," Graham said.