For a business to succeed, it must earn the respect and confidence of those it aspires to serve.
The most significant factor in earning this respect and confidence is to act and conduct business in an ethical manner. Unethical business practices foster ill-will between customer and community, not only toward a particular business firm, but toward business as a whole. Every Better Business Bureau member has made a commitment to display leadership in ethical decisions by following these fundamental practises:
We shall recognize the individual rights of all members of the community in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and display a fair sense of justice.
We shall make accurate claims to our customers, use only competent testimonials, and strive to be open about all aspects of the products or services we offer.
We shall uphold the principle of fair play and be vigilant against conduct which has the intent, capability, or effect of being deceptive towards our customers.
We shall not merely abide by the law in a technical way but will strive to serve our customers with honest values, avoiding all devices and schemes which prey on human ignorance or gullibility.
We shall support a healthy marketplace for all through cooperation with customers, other businesses, and every person who would benefit from an ethical, free-market system.
We will honour all commitments and guarantees, and seek to resolve any disputes in a fair and expeditious manner. We will investigate and fully inform the consumer of any health, environmental, safety or other hazards posed by the normal use of our products or service.
Consumer Code of Ethics
People want to be more assured about the companies they do business with.
They want to be certain about the honesty and integrity of a company, and to know that their business will be conducted to the highest of standards. In most situations businesses meet or exceed consumers’ expectations, because to succeed, it must earn the respect and confidence of those it aspires to serve. The most significant factor in earning consumer respect is to act and conduct business in an ethical manner. Unethical business practices create ill will, not only toward a particular business organization, but also towards business as a whole.
Consumers, however, also share the responsibility for maintaining an ethical marketplace. When doing business with any organization – be it a store, professional service, or a large corporation - today's consumers should strive to conduct their business following some basic ethical practices in the following ways:
Know your rights and responsibilities, comparison shop, read contracts, and ask questions before you buy. Investigate offers that sound too good to be true.
Don't return used goods under the pretence that they are damaged if they are not. This practice, as well as switching price tags and shoplifting (or failure to report shoplifters), costs all consumers in terms of time and money.
Exhibit the same kind of honesty you expect to receive from business firms. If a sales clerk makes a mistake in your favor, point it out as quickly as you would a mistake in the company's favor.
Live up to your obligations. Enter agreements in good faith, and pay your bills when they are due. If you can't, inform the merchant and explain why.
Recognize that store employees are individuals. Treat them as you wish to be treated.
Don't make unreasonable demands. Respect the firm's right to limit services and products offered. Don't expect to get something for nothing.