Advancing Marketplace Trust for Consumers and Business

Vice President of Communications & Public Relations Josh Planos said consumers often connect with the Better Business Bureau when a need arises, like when they want to find a reputable contractor as they launch their first major home improvement project; or when they suspect a strange email, phone or mail offer might be a scam. The BBB can help with both of those things, and more. 

“The organization is so wide-ranging that you could take a poll of 10 consumers and they might all have a different on-ramp regarding the BBB brand. There are folks who think of us solely as dispute resolution and there are folks who think of us as a government entity, which we’re not. There are some folks that know we’re a nonprofit,” Planos said. “Our mission has been the same since the first BBB was formed in 1912, and that’s to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. 

“We have various tent poles for the organization that cover quite a bit of terrain. We started primarily to correct advertising abuses, but then expanded our footprint to include other responsibilities like becoming the go-to resource for sizing up business performance and trustworthiness, there’s a scam prevention and awareness element, there’s a dispute resolution element. Our job, if you could whittle it down to a sentence, is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust for both businesses and consumers — because it’s a two-way street — and there are not a lot of organizations who are duty-bound to provide that sort of service, and I’m proud to work for one who does.”

It’s easy to connect with the BBB, Planos added, via phone, email, or online. 

“We try to meet companies with the messaging, mode and volume that meets their needs,” he said, adding that high membership retention reflects that. “They know that they are going to have the human connection.”

Members will have special access to information and resources, but community outreach efforts such as shredding events, cybersecurity seminars and topical community presentations are available to everyone, Planos said. The BBB also serves the community through general awareness efforts, like with the scam alert the organization has released every week for 10 consecutive years, or the newly released payday loans study a consortium of five Better Business Bureaus around the U.S. teamed up to produce. 

“In a capitalistic society, or really any society, the principle of someone sticking up for the voiceless can fall to the wayside easily,” Planos said. “That is why we exist.”

BBB Member Spotlight: Woodmen Life

WoodmenLife, founded in 1890, helps protect the financial future of families in hometowns across America. As a not-for-profit life insurance company, WoodmenLife puts money back into the community. Members join together in a shared commitment to family, community and country. 

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As a proud member of the Better Business Bureau and a winner of the BBB Integrity Award in 2011 and 2019, the organization is committed to ethical business practices and providing leadership in the communities in which it operates. 

WoodmenLife has a passion for its members, always acting in their best interest and providing them with support and superior service, while operating with integrity and commitment. The organization is rated A+ (Superior), the second highest rating out of 15, for its financial strength and operating performance by A.M. Best, an independent rating company, and was named one of America’s Best Insurance Companies 2022 by Forbes. 

WoodmenLife offers quality life insurance and retirement products. A person becomes a member and gains access to valuable extras when he or she purchases a WoodmenLife product. To learn more about the organization or how to become a member, visit

Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society Home Office: Omaha, NE