When most people think of the Better Business Bureau, they think of filing a complaint. Some think of checking out a business before they buy, while others think of reading alerts about scams. A few may know they can compliment a business on our website, too. But these are not all the services of the BBB. Alternative Dispute Resolution is an alternative to going to court. We offer two types: mediation and arbitration.
Mediation: The third-party facilitator – the mediator – assists parties to negotiate a settlement. The process has a structure, timetable and dynamics that ordinary negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential. BBB mediators are trained to keep the communication open, progressive, fair, safe and non-inflammatory.
Arbitration: Arbitration is a more structured and formal way to settle issues outside of a courtroom, but it does bear similarities. In a BBB arbitration, both parties present their side to the neutral, third-party arbitrator, who then gives a ruling, like a judge. BBB arbitrators are contracted from a pool of professional union arbitrators, lawyers and other experts.
Advantages: Alternative Dispute Resolution services can be cheaper, more flexible, and faster than going to court. And when you’re scheduled for a session at the BBB, a specific time will be blocked out for you. Going to court can be like waiting for the repairman — you’re on the docket with a bunch of other cases “sometime between 10 and 2.” And mediation can save the relationship between a business and a consumer, and lead to further business transactions.
Contact BBB: To find out if mediation or arbitration is right for you, contact the BBB serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana at (509)455-4200 or (800) 356-1007.
More info or to report scams: Visit the BBB at www.bbb.org.
Better Business Bureau
sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.