Hawaii's Better Business Bureau (BBB) has made it easier to find out more dirt about local businesses. It launched a new online service at midnight Friday that allows anyone to read the details of complaints filed against businesses, along with information on how the company responds and the resolution, if any.
"People can see what exactly was wrong, what was the issue and then, of course, how it was taken care of," said Timothy Caminos, director of communications and public relations for Hawaii's BBB.
Caminos said they launched this service based on consumer feedback, and it's not only good for consumers, but also a good thing for businesses.
"Complaints are going to happen you know; even with businesses with the best intentions, things are going to come up. Nobody's perfect. But how they respond and take care of those complaints is a true measure of a company," said Scott Williams, president of Lex Brodie's Tire Co.
Michele Tom, who gets her vehicle serviced at Lex Brodie's said, "I would use it, especially if it's for a specialized service."
"I think it would be good if it had something to compare it to. You know, if you're just looking at complaints, I don't, I don't know? But, yeah, I think it might be a good service," said Tony Smith, who also has his vehicle serviced at Lex Brodie's.
Caminos said the site will show details of all complaints filed digitally with the BBB since November 2012.
Caminos added, "If there have been no complaints since that date, or if the complaint has come in before then, details will not show up."
He also said that information on the site is all factual, compared to subjective social media sites. "We have someone facilitate a conversation between the business and the consumer to come to the resolution, whereas Yelp does not."
Hawaii's BBB processes about 1,800 complaints a year and publishes them for three years from the date they are closed.