The Ethics of Consumer Production and Marketing There are lots of cases we found about the injuries happen to the consumer, each year some 20 millions people suffer serious accidental injuries and about 100. 000 are killed, more than half of them in accidents involving consumer products. However, products injuries make up only one category of cost imposed on unwary consumer, consumer must also bear the cost of deceptive selling practices. 1. Market and consumer protection In such market the consumer is said to be ‘sovereign’.
When consumer wants and will willingly pay for something, seller have an incentive to cater to their wishes. In Market approach, to consumer protection, consumer safety is seen as a good that is most efficiently provided trough the mechanism of free market whereby seller must respond to consumer demands. Problem with the assumption of rational utility maximization. ??? Few people are good at estimating probabilities ??? People are irrational and inconsistent when weighing choices ??? Many consumer market are monopolies or oligopolies 2. The contract view of business firm’s duties to consumers
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The view that the relationship between a business firm and its consumer is essentially a contractual relationship, and the firm’s moral duties to the customer are those created by this contractual relationship. The duty to comply The most basic moral duty that the business firm owes its customer, according to the contract view, is the duty to provide consumers with a product that live up to those claims that the firm expressly made about the product which let the customer to enter the contract freely and which formed the customers’ understanding concerning what they were agree to buy.
The degree to which product performance meets predetermine expectation with respect to : ? Reliability ? Service life ? Maintainability ? Product safety 3. The due care theory The view that because manufacturers are in a more advantaged position. They have a duty to take special care to ensure that consumers interest are not harmed the product that they offer them. 4. The social cost view of the manufacturer’s duties
The view that manufacturer should pay the cost of any injuries sustained through any deffects in the product, even when the manufacturer exercised all due care in the design and manufacture of the product and has taken all reasonable precautions to warn users of every foreseen danger. 5. Advertising ethics Advertising cost must be covered by the prices consumers pay for the goods they buy, but according to most consumer they get very little. Surveys have shown that 66% of consumers feel that advertising doesn’t reduce prices. 5% believe it makes people buy things they should not buy. 55% feel advertisement insult the intelligence, and 63% feel advertisement doesn’t present the truth. 6. Consumer privacy Advance in communication technology have given us the power to collect, manipulate, and disseminate personal information about consumer on a scale unprecedented in the history of the human race. This new power has enabled mass invasions of the privacy of consumers and ha created the potential for significant harms, arising from mistaken or false information because consumers have a right to privacy