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The dinner was too spicy: BBB's most unusual complaints of 2023

The bathroom line-up was too long and the retailer didn't honour a TV's discounted price — several months later. What the BBB heard from customers last year.
Person removing a pre-cooked meal from a microwave.

Ever written a complaint about a business? 

Every day, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) receives dozens of complaints across the country. Our latest data shows that there are around 36,000 complaints submitted across our Canadian branches in a single year. Notably, there are always a few submissions that take us by surprise.

"Every now and then, we receive complaints that really make us raise an eyebrow," said Simone Lis, President and CEO of BBB serving Mainland BC and Yukon, in a news release.

"When leaving a complaint, we encourage consumers to consider if their concern was truly under the business' control."

Here are some unusual complaints submitted into BBB in 2023:

  1. A customer wanted a refund for a single frozen ready-at-home microwave dinner because it was spicier than advertised.
  2. A customer wanted a refund for food that spoiled after the freezer they bought from a big box store broke down and stopped working.
  3. A customer wanted BBB to force a business to honour an advertised discounted price of a television that was no longer on sale anymore, months later.
  4. A customer filed a complaint against a popular grocery store because they had to wait in line too long for a customer bathroom.

How to file a complaint

If you have a complaint, get in touch with us and briefly outline the problem using the online complaint system. Your BBB contact will tell you what you need to do next.

If you have not contacted the business directly, your local BBB will encourage you to call the business first to discuss the problem, but it is not required that you work with the business before filing your complaint.

Your local BBB may have the name and number of a person at the business for you to contact.

How dispute resolution works

BBB serving Mainland BC and Yukon offers conciliation as the main strategy to help you resolve your dispute without going to court.

This process is informal, user-friendly and helps to resolve thousands of complaints each year.

In conciliation, BBB staff will work with the business and customer to encourage communication and assist in settling the problem.

BBB staff can present the customer's views to the business and offer the business's viewpoint to the customer in an impartial way.

Conciliation frequently settles the matter simply and quickly — usually in a couple of weeks, but sometimes in a few days.