Ethical Question

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Artimaeus, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
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    I recently received an unsolicited video tape in the mail from a nationally known preacher. The letter which accompanied it asked for payment to continue getting more tapes OR it asked that I return the video. It is a pretty good video. I know that legally I am under no obligation to return it or pay for it but, my question is, "Is it ETHICAL to keep it and not pay for it or send it back?"
     
  2. Brett

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    If it costs you money to send it back, then don't - you didn't ask for the video, and should have no responsibility for paying to return it. If you don't, however, I think it would be the ethical thing to do, to return it.
     
  3. Don

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    Was it ethical of the individual to send you a tape and ask you for money, or put the financial burden on you to mail it back if you didn't want to pay the money?

    Two wrongs don't make a right, but this type of "ethical" nonsense does not put the blame on you.

    I can't believe someone calling themselves a Christian would send an unrequested tape and say "if you don't want it, you need to pay the shipping and handling to send it back to me." Seems like the thing to do would say, "if you don't want to pay for it, pass it on to someone who will."

    You are not under an ethical obligation simply because someone says "if you don't like the tape I sent you, even though you didn't ask for it, then you must fork over the money to send it back to me, or else you're in the wrong."
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    If you opt to pay the postage and return the tape, I have a letter from this friend of the Nigerian President . . .


    I would get rid of it. Trash it. Keeping and using it would lay unneeded guilt on you.

    The ethical problems are HIS not YOURS.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    I agree with everyone else.

    But is there any way to return it postage due? :D
     
  6. Jim1999

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    Frankly, the wording is close to extortion and I should return it to the Post Office and point out the demand for monies. Then, let the Post Office take care of it. All ethical questions answered.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Artimaeus

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    I am sorry, I think I confused people a little. There would be no cost to me to return the video, It came with a "No Postage Necessary" return envelope. I just think it would have been a little less heavy handed if they had asked if I wanted to receive it first rather than trying to elicit some sense of obligation. BTW, I am planning on returning it.

    [ October 11, 2003, 09:31 AM: Message edited by: Artimaeus ]
     
  8. Ed Edwards

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    It seems it would be ethical to return
    the video tape. I believe it would be
    ethical for you to make a copy of it
    (assuming you have two VCRs) for your
    own use and enjoyment. Note that
    "your own use and enjoyment" is NOT
    showing the vidio before others, especially
    if you are paid to be before them
    (like if you are a paster showing it
    to your congegration). [​IMG]
     
  9. Jim1999

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    I just wish the good Christians who borrowed books from me down through the years would consider ethics and return them to me postage paid or not.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Trotter

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    Amen, Jim, amen.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  11. Artimaeus

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    What about if I were to use this copy in my Sunday School class? It is on a subject that we will be covering next. I would never charge or sell, or in any way make money by its use.
     
  12. Don

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    Art, that's covered under the Fair Use Act, which says you can use copyrighted materials for educational purposes provided you aren't charging for the educational activity (along with some other provisions).
     
  13. David Mark

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    It might have been more appropriate for them to allow you to have the first tape free. Then if you wanted more you could order more.

    It seems like a pretty sneaky (even evil) way of marketing. This organization is counting on your conscience bothering you one way or another for their benefit. Someone tie a millstone around my neck and throw me into the deep part of the ocean if I do something like that to one of you.

    I am glad you have a sensitive conscience. I applaud you for that [​IMG] . That is very refreshing. Do what you are planning to do and let us know how it goes.
     
  14. Justified

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    If these people that sent him are Christians, then he can't take it to the authorities at this point.

    But might be proper to send it back with a letter and Scripture verses to show them how it is laying a guilt trip on people.[Thought this seems obvious, what they intended to do in the first place]

    Call it "Guilt Trip Fund Raising!"
     
  15. superdave

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    From a legal standpoint, anytime something is sent to you and you do not request it, its yours, without payment. I had a similar situation, unfortunately it was something I did not want, so I made the company get me a fed ex waybill to return it on their dime. But I could have kept the $500 office chair in theory without paying for it, It was hideously ugly though!

    I would definitely make a big stink about it, even if you do return it, that is about as unethical a business practice as there is, hence the law about keeping stuff that is sent unsolicited. Send them a bill for your time spent evaluating and returnin g the tape or something. $350 an hour is a fair price. Than you can take care of your own ethical problem, and point out theirs as well.
     
  16. Johnv

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    This sounds like an introductory tape to a tape subscription, similar to an introductory magazine issue to a mag subscription (Reader's Digest does this on occaision). There's nothing wrong with the tape being sent to you unsolicited. There's also nothing wrong with you deciding to support its ministry by subscribing to more tapes in the future. Additionally, there's nothing wrong with you keeping the tape, and nothing wrong with you sending it back. If you feel you would like to assist them by sending it back so they can send it to someone else, then that's certainly your prerogative, but it's not an ethical requirement.
     
  17. Thankful

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    If you keep it, you may get a bill and continue to receive tapes.

    One time, I complained about receiving a book that I thought I didn't order. You know what, I had inadvertantly check the box and ordered it.

    This sounds a lot like book clubs that send books if you fail to tell them you don't want them.

    I would return it if I didn't want to continue receiving tapes.

    Ethical to keep? I see no problem with keeping it, but you may be billed for it.

    I certainly would not waste time over feeling guilty about what someone else had done.
     
  18. Johnv

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    Federal law states very clearly that anything you're sent via the USPS (that is, something sent to your name and address) that you did not order, you are allowed to keep without charge and not required to pay for. However, I don't think this applies in like and kind for items shipped via private courier, such as UPS.
     

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