Nonprofit organizations sponsored by private, local businesses which provide general information about products or services, reliability reports, background information regarding local businesses and records of the companies' complaint handling performances. Most Better Business Bureaus accept complaints against businesses and help to resolve disputes through mediation or binding arbitration utilizing volunteer arbitration panels.
Consumer protection offices that are part of federal, provincial, county or city governments which receive, investigate and resolve through direct action or referral to law enforcement or regulatory agencies, consumer complaints that are a result of transactions in the marketplace. Most government consumer affairs offices also publish and disseminate a large selection of consumer education materials, initiate studies to improve standards of conduct for businesses and consumers, and analyze and recommend changes in consumer protection legislation.
Groups of individual consumers who join together on a voluntary basis to provide consumer education and information and/or to help individual consumers who have complaints.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.