Business Law Chapter 08 Homework Some forms of credit, although very expensive

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subject Pages 2
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subject Authors Dean Bredeson

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UNIT 8: Special Obligations to Customers
Unit Background/Author Perspective
Module 41: Customer Deception: Who's to Blame?
Module 42: Credit Cards and Payday Loans
Module 43: “Microinsurance”
Module 44: Using “Bad” Things to Boost Profits
Module 45: Store Cards, Search Engines, and Customer Data
Module 46: “Least Profitable Customers”
Unit Background/Author Perspective
Companies are often accused of taking advantage of their customers. Sometimes, the
accusations are reasonable. In other cases, customers seem to simply make poor decisions.
This unit opens with a scenario in which a company regularly lies to its customers. It then
asks whether top executives, store managers, or low-level workers are most responsible for the
Many of the remaining modules look at products and services that arguably take
advantage of people. Payday loans, which are usually made at tremendous rates of interest, are
the subject of one scenario. Another looks at “microinsurance,” and a third looks at boosting
profits by using items that may be bad for consumers or society.
The last two units look at acceptable and unacceptable uses of customer data and whether
organizations have any obligations to their “least profitable” customers.
Unit Core Ethical Issues
When customers are misled, does the primary blame lie with top level policy
makers, or are lower level workers who directly interact with customers more at
Some forms of credit, although very expensive, can be appealing to those with
few options. What obligations, if any, are owed to customers who seek high
interest loans?
Just about everything priced at over $50 comes with an offer of an extended
service plan. Customers on tight monthly budgets are often willing to insure
even small purchases. Does the practice of selling microinsurance raise any
ethical issues?
There are many products and services that are perceived negatively by large
numbers of people. Cigarettes are legal, but non-smokers generally dislike them.
Many forms of gambling are legal but unloved by non-gamblers. If a company
can profit from a legal but bad activity, should it do so?
Many businesses track and store data on customer purchases. Is a company
obligated to tell its customers about such practices? Is a company obligated to
keep the data to itself?
Companies love big-spenders. But what about small-spenders, and other
customers who generate little or no profit? Does a company have any
obligations to its worst customers?

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