Once you have been in business for one year, you can apply for inclusion in the Better Business Bureau's Online Reliability Program. In 2010, it had 70,000 participating merchants. To get into the program and display its seal, you had to do the following things [source: Barlow]:
- Agree to abide by its communications standards, which call for truth and accuracy (no deceptive or misleading ads)
- Agree to share info about your business and its operations with consumers (no surprise fees, for example)
- Honor any representations you make to customers, respond to their questions and follow the BBB's dispute resolution procedures
- Take precautions when marketing to kids
Keep in mind the BBB doesn't endorse companies, so don't add any text to your site saying you're BBB-endorsed.
Once you've written your policies, place links to them in conspicuous spots on your home page and ordering pages. Finally, keep in mind there's no messing around here. You have to follow your own policies to the letter or you may be in violation of the FTC Act, which bans unfair or deceptive business practices [source: Federal Trade Commission].