Introduction In 2004, several main players in the market started to voice their concern to CBE about the increasing unethical business practices within the Used Computer market. The trading in used computer equipment has come under a lot of pressure through the constant changes in the market, the demands of the customers, and the issues raised by manufacturers to control the used equipment market.
The last thing anyone is waiting for is to loose time and money dealing with unethical business partners.
CBE has recognized the importance of putting a code of good business practice in place and to give a signal to the users of the CBE Marketplace that it is essential to strive to achieve quality and to acknowledge the negative consequences that may result from poor business practices. It is of great importance that dealing with companies in the used computer market is perceived as professional and trustworthy in order to safeguard the reputation and existence of this specific segment in the ICT Industry.
The main objective of the “CBE Code of Ethics” is to promote that unethical conduct will and cannot be accepted from any company or person that wants to be part of the Used Computer Market.
The “CBE Code of Ethics” consists of the principles of good business practice, how to file a complaint, the process of handling the complaint, the framework of hearing, evaluating and resolving alleged violations and the rendering of sanctions, if applicable. Also an outline of rules for the members of the CBE Ethics Committee is included. The “CBE Code of Ethics” are reviewed and assessed every year at the CBE Conference.
A CBE customer that is a CBE Code of Ethics member will be distinguished on the CBE Marketplace by the CBE Code of Ethics emblem. New members of the CBE network are obliged to sign up for the Code. Any comments or suggestion, please e-mail to email@example.com.
The Code of Ethics
The following code underwrites the dedication of the members of the CBE Code of Ethics (“the Code”) to maintain the highest level of ethics, professionalism and responsibility in their relationship with the public, the industry and/or other companies.
The principles of good business Practices & Ethics
Principle 1:In all business dealings with buyers as well as sellers, the member shall act in good faith and enforce a high level of professional and ethical business practices:
- The member shall honor any offer that has been accepted by another company as expeditiously as possible after the offer has been made and accepted;
- The member shall follow through and complete any contract or agreement entered into (electronically, verbally or otherwise) with any other company;
- Once it has been agreed to sell either buy, install, maintain or lease the equipment, the member shall take the appropriate actions to conclude the transaction or assignment.
- The member shall use only one name, identity or affiliation in all negotiations and business dealings;
- The member will indicate the terms and conditions under which the representatives of its company is to conclude a transaction;
- The member shall refrain from making false or not proven insinuations, statements, indirect malicious implications or any other unlawful act or omission that can injure the character or reputation of members, other companies and/or persons referred to without reason.
- The member shall respond to any complaint regarding any alleged violation of the Code and agrees to participate in good faith in all proceedings following a complaint.
Principle 2:The member shall conduct business in a manner broadening public understanding and enhancing the confidence and reputation of the Secondary ICT Industry and the CBE Community.
- The member shall be competent and accurate in representations of skills, knowledge, services and products.
- The member shall accept responsibility for its products, services and/or the work it performs.
- The member shall publicize its products in a professional manner that will enhance the image of the industry.
- The member and/or its employees or representatives shall not make any unnecessarily offensive public statements likely to discredit or do injury to the reputation of their profession, and shall have regard to likely consequences of any statement regarding others and the used computer market.
Principle 3:Confidential Information[p>
- The member will respect and keep confidential any information – whether of a personal or business nature – from another company received in the course of doing business, unless agreed otherwise between parties, or unless such information is to be disclosed during the filing of a complaint.
- The member will not in any way misuse information that has been entrusted by any other company or person.
The CBE Code of Ethics Committee will review any violation of the provisions and/or underlying intent of the principles of business practices & ethics. A violation of the provisions and/or the underlying intent of these principles as set down by the Code will result in a sanction by the committee and/or suspension/expulsion from the CBE Community (i.e. CBE Marketplace, Services and/or CBE Code of Ethics).
The procedure of filing a complaint
Who may file:
- Both members and non-members of the CBE Code of Ethics may file a complaint.
Against whom may a complaint be filed:
- Against a CBE Code of Ethics member: Members and non-members of the Code can file a complaint. In case a non-member files a complaint he automatically agrees to be bound by the CBE Code of Ethics and will sign a contract to that effect.
- Against a CBE customer/Non-Code of Ethics member CBE cannot force a CBE customer to participate other then under the clauses stipulated in the CBE Terms & Conditions and has no authority over a non – CBE Code of Ethics member. However, if the company in question is willing to participate in these proceedings, it automatically agrees to be bound by the Code. The company in question will sign a contract to that effect.
- Against a Non-CBE customer/Non-Code of Ethics member In this case CBE has no authority at all. However, if the company in question is willing to participate in the complaint proceedings, the company automatically agrees to be bound by the Code. In this case the company in question also will sign a contract to that effect.
How to file a complaint
The complaint must be in writing and sent to CBE. You can use the CBE Complaint form and fax to (31) 30 698 2690 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The complaint should include the following basic information:
- The date and details of the incident/statement of complaint;
- The companies involved, i.e. the complainant and the party against whom the complaint is filed, need to be identified in full (company name, address, contact person(s) + position, phone & fax number);
- If possible, identify the Code violation you believe has occurred;
- Have you filed a complaint at any other organization? If yes, please indicate the organization;
- Please indicate the efforts you have made to resolve the matter;
- List the amount and cost of product/services, if relevant, include contracts, invoices, correspondence or other supporting documents;
- Any responses the other parties have made to resolve the matter;
- The current status of the complaint;
- How would you like to see the complaint resolved or remedied.
- CBE confirms receipt of complaint to complainant and registers the complaint.
- The CBE committee member will review complaint, gather all the necessary documents and make an initial assumption if the facts constitute a violation of the code within 5 working days. If the CBE committee member is in doubt he/she may seek a decision of the committee on the issue.
- If it is determined that no violation has been made within the Code, the complainant will be so advised and no further action will be taken. The complainant cannot appeal.
- If the complaint involves a violation of the Code, the CBE committee member will inform the party against which the complaint is filed in writing mentioning the content of the complaint with a request for a written initial response within 3 working days.
- If no response is received from the party in question within the timeline, the CBE committee member can request for a response or may treat the factual allegations as having been admitted or the lack of response may be taken as a refusal to participate.
- After a response is received, the CBE Committee member initially may try to mediate between parties, if both parties agree.
- If a violation is mediated and settled privately through the assistance of the CBE Committee member notice is given only to the complainant, respondent and the Committee indicating that a complaint is filed and resolved through mediation.
- If mediation does not result into an amicable settlement, the CBE Committee member will inform the committee members accordingly and inform the committee about the content of the complaint.
- The committee will investigate the complaint and will analyze the alleged violation within 7 working days.
- During investigation the Committee may request information from either party in writing with regard to the pending case. Both parties need to respond within 10 working days after the request has been made.
- A teleconference will be initiated to hear both parties and for the Committee to investigate solutions with both parties.
- The Committee will inform both parties in writing about their finding and render its ruling not later than 45 working days after the initial complaint.
1) In case a violation is found by the committee, the following sanctions can be given:
Sanction 1:Private A finding of violation will be notified only to the parties concerned and the committee.
Sanction 2:CBE Code of Ethics members A finding of violation will be notified to the members of the Code of Ethics in writing in the form of: “company X violated point Y of the CBE Code of Ethics”
Sanction 3:Suspension from the CBE Services A finding of violation will be notified to the CBE Community (i.e. CBE Code of Ethics members and CBE Customers) in writing: company X violated point Y of the CBE code of Ethics with a recommendation to suspend company X from using the CBE services for the a period of time not exceeding 12 months.
Sanction 4:Expulsion from the CBE Community A finding of violation will be notified to the CBE Community in writing: company X violated point Y of the CBE Code of Ethics with a recommendation for expulsion from the CBE Community.
2) The minimum of committee members per sanction to be involved with regard to the violation of the Code:
Sanction 1:Private 3 members of the Committee (including the CBE Committee member) at least have to deal with the outstanding issue if mediation has not been settled amicable.
Sanction 2:CBE Code of Ethics members 4 members of the Committee (including the CBE Committee member) at least have to deal with the outstanding issue.
Sanction 3:Suspension from the CBE Services All members of the Committee at least have to deal with the outstanding issue.
Sanction 4:Expulsion from the CBE Community All members of the Committee at least have to deal with the outstanding issue.
Terms of procedure:
- The procedure is intended to deal with violations of the Code;
- The purpose of these procedures is solely to secure conformity and compliance with the code of business practice and ethics;
- The committee cannot and does not make any awards of damages in any form;
- Neither CBE, nor any member of the Committee, is (n)or can be held liable for any act or omission with regard to any dispute resolution governed by the Code.
- If any of the parties wishes to exclude any of the Committee members from the proceedings on reasonable grounds, they can inform CBE in writing and a replacement – if applicable – can be arranged by CBE;
- Both parties accept the findings and ruling of the Committee as binding and not subject to appeal and agree to voluntarily comply with the findings and ruling of the Committee;
- Both parties shall refrain from actions and/or omissions that may hinder or negatively affect the handling of the complaint;
- Both parties and the committee will undertake to keep all information regarding the parties and the procedure confidential from the start of the proceedings and afterwards with the exception of sanctions in itself.
- In all matters not provided for in this document, CBE may decide at its own discretion. During the course of the proceedings, such unforeseen matters will be discussed and decided together with the committee.
- CBE may, at its discretion of following the CBE Conference, make amendments to the Code and the proceedings described in this document. When an amendment is made, the new Code will be presented on the CBE Website. Members to the Code and which do not wish to subscribe to the new Code, may revoke their membership by informing CBE in writing within 14 days.
The CBE Code of Ethics Committee
The CBE Code of Ethics will be enforced through the CBE Code of Ethics committee. The Code of Ethics Committee exists out of 4 companies in the secondary IT Industry and a CBE Representative.
Rules for the members of this Committee are as follows:
- Persons are deemed eligible to be a member of the Committee when they have been active in the Secondary IT Industry for at least 3 years.
- A member of the Committee is not necessarily required to be affiliated with a company that is a CBE subscriber.
- A Committee member is appointed for a period of at least 3 years. A CBE committee member will be appointed permanently.
- Committee members shall be impartial.
- Committee members shall keep any and all information, disclosed by companies during and after the handling of complaints, confidential.
- A committee member will provide reasonable efforts in hearing, evaluating and resolving alleged violations of the Code together with the parties concerned, and shall render sanctions when necessary.
- The committee members, however, are and cannot be held liable for damages arising out or relating to their acts and omissions in their capacity as a committee member.
- When a complaint is filed against the company of one of the Committee members, this member will be excluded from dealing with this complaint in any way.
The law of the Netherlands governs the Code of Ethics. Any dispute arising out and/or related to the Code of Ethics, including any rulings by the Committee, will be exclusively brought before the competent court of Utrecht, The Netherlands.