Marketing Ethics ??? improper selling and sales management According to Marketing Ethics (2007) “marketing ethics are moral principles that define right and wrong behaviors in marketing. ” The publics are now more and more concern about the ethical practice of a firm. The firm that I have chosen to discuss in the essay is Cable TV Hong Kong, which is owned and operated by i-Cable Communication Limited. It is the second company in Hong Kong that provides subscription television service.
There were claims that the company uses improper selling method to avoid customers from terminating contracts. Cable TV Hong Kong uses some unethical method to avoid customers from ending their contracts. The Hong Kong Broadcasting Authority had received at least 14 complaints in May. According to the procedures of ending contracts with Cable TV, customers have to call the Cable TV to request a termination. Plenty of customers complain that the hotline number provided by the company usually does not work.
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Customers need to fill in a form in order to end the contract, but not many people are aware of this requirement. Customers are also required to fax or mail forms to Cable TV. But Cable TV always claims that they never receive any fax or mail concerning contract termination. Cable TV is trying to hold back their contract. Nevertheless, the current regulations, Broadcasting Ordinance, do not authorize the Hong Kong Broadcasting Authority to restrain promotion, charges and the contract arrangements of the subscription television.
So the authority can only handover the complaints to related company and the complainants. Cable TV’s action does not break laws, but it is obviously unethical. According to Schlegelmilch, B (1998) “customers are the most important stakeholders group for a company. “(p. 22) If companies want to operate their business ethically, they should consider the customers first. Also Mccoll -kennedy, J, R, Kiel, G, C, Lusch, R, F and Lusch, V, N,(1994, p. 627) point out, selling and sales management should be an area of ethical concern in marketing.
An ethical company should not adopt any selling method that affects the benefits of customers. Cable TV’s customers have to pay the subscription even they do not want to watch Cable TV; it is definitely affecting the benefits of their customers. It seems that Cable TV only want to hold the contract so that regular revenue will be earned. They ignore their customers’ feelings. Thus, it is obvious that the selling methods adopted by Cable TV are unethical. To conclude, Cable TV Hong Kong uses improper methods to hold contracts with their customers so as to gain more revenue.
However, the public also has the responsibilities, because some Hong Kong people watch Cable TV without permission. For example, some teenagers will use some software or web sites to watch some programs provided by Cable TV. It actually affects the income of Cable TV. Cable TV uses unethical selling methods is actually rooted in people’s watching Cable TV without permission. I think the best way to solve this problem is for the government to enact laws to protect both the company and its customers.