Investigation of Ethical Issues of Making a Sale to a Specific Customer

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Investigation of Ethical Issues of Making a Sale to a Specific Customer

A small UK high street store, TVs 'R' Us sells television sets. A

major percentage of sales are to customers with very low income.

The owner-manager of the retail outlet, Giles Tane, is able to sell

expensive products to poor people by means of a credit system i.e. a

small amount of money is paid back each month. The interest rates

charged are very high, particularly due to the high-risk nature of the

debt. The credit is collected by an external credit agency. The

company makes most of its profit from financial services such as the

credit scheme. Pressure is therefore exerted on the 3 salespeople to

sell the most expensive goods on credit. The customers are generally

happy with the quality of service and goods provided, and are pleased

to find that they are deemed creditworthy. The salespeople are on


One autumn afternoon Giles sees one of his neighbours, Mrs Samuels,

about to make a purchase of a new wide screen television on credit in

the shop. His wife is friendly with Mrs Samuels, who is 82 years old,

and whose only living relative is one son who lives in Australia. Mrs

Tane acts as a surrogate daughter, helping out with shopping and

household chores. Mrs Samuels lives in a run-down old house and,

according to Mrs Tane, cannot afford to heat the house properly in the

winter, living in just one room until the weather gets warmer. Giles

Tane strongly suspects that Mrs Samuels cannot really afford to

purchase the television, even on credit.

1. What are the ethical issues relating to the selling of a television

to Mrs. Samuels?

2. What a...

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