The internet revolution has brought forth many innovations, along with tons of new business ideas. Some of these were overnight successes and some were not. One of the biggest ideas was the thought that individuals can sit in the comfort of their own homes and purchase products, while having them delivered to their residence. Companies like Amazon have capitalized majorly on this idea and managed to keep a good reputation while doing so. In the situation presented in this assignment, the complete opposite type of business behavior is used. This behavior, along with the stakeholders involved, any laws that are available, and a recommendation will be discussed in this assignment.
There are many stakeholders involved in this situation, including both internal and external. (Chen, 2019) The biggest internal stakeholders are Clarabelle Rodriguez and Vitaly Borker. The first of these, Ms. Rodriguez, was the customer that used Mr. Borker’s company to order a specialized pair of sunglasses that cost her 361 dollars. Her interest as a stakeholder was of financial manner, as she gave her hard earned money away in exchange for a pair of glasses. While certain aspects of Mr. Borker’s interest are focused on financials, he also has interest in the forms of ethics and morals. With the facts presented in this case, it appears that he lacks some of these key characteristics and this has been shown by how he deals with his customers. Ultimately, the responsibility of making this whole is on the consumer and the judicial system.
One the external stakeholders that is involved in this case is Google. This is because of the expectations that a consumer has when using their website to search for items and how a business, like Mr. Borker’s can impact the reputation of this company. If a consumer feels like they cannot trust the results produced their search engine, it can lead to less people using this service, as it is Google’s interest to maintain a good reputation. Cases like this one have helped change the format of Google, as it now includes reviews and links to other websites that can be used to background check a business. (Segal, 2010)
When examining this case from a legal perspective, there could be a few different useful methods in which consumers could seek retribution to be made whole again. One of these is to sue for breach of contract. The guidelines that define a legal contract are set by the Uniform Commercial Code, more specifically Article 2 of this code. (Halbert & Ingulli, 2015) Under these rules, a valid contract must include several key elements, such as an offer and an acceptance of that offer. If one of the parties of a contract fail to perform their obligation, then the other party may sue based on this. Ms. Rodriguez’s situation and the facts shown in this case, present a valid argument for breach of contract. This is because a valid contract was made when she accepted the offer to pay $361 to Mr. Borker’s company for the sunglasses, which were advertised as designer brand. When Mr. Borker failed to provide the sunglass that she had ordered but still took her money, he was in violation of this contract.
Another law that could be explored is 18 U.S. Code § 2320. This law deals with the selling of counterfeit goods. If it could be proven that these sunglasses have the same “markings” as the genuine ones and that Mr. Borker knew these were knock-offs, this law would be applicable. But since his business model was to order the products from other merchants and have them ship the item directly to the buyer, this may be difficult to prove in a court of law. On the other hand, great attorneys can make the law for them and if it was proven, Mr. Borker could face stiff punishment.
There are several different theories about ethics, with each having different methods of handling relationships and people. One of these is the theory of Deontology. Under this theory, rational decisions are based on the duties one has. (Sadler, 2011) When applying this theory to business, if used correctly, could have a beneficial impact on the company. This is because it shows that the respective business recognizes it duties as an employer and to the community in which its employees come from. A great example of using this theory would be if a company has their employees go out and clean up the environment, while providing them with lunch and pay. These kinds of actions also have an impact on potential customers, as it would allow them to see that the company cares about their impact on people and the environment.
Ethics and morals are clearly something that Mr. Borker has a lack of. This is shown by his actions to the multiple customers he has wronged and taken advantage of. Also, the fact that he is thriving off such negative feedback, truly shows his colors. To make a profit off wronging people of their hard-earned money is simply wrong. While the ethical theory of Deontology could be applied in this situation, the better theory would be that of Virtue ethics. Under this theory, one’s character is highlighted and used. (Halbert & Ingulli, 2015)
The reason for using this theory in my recommendation is because I feel that Mr. Borker needs to take a step back and reexamine himself, while considering how he would feel if this was done to him. In doing this, I think that maybe he would see his ways and how his actions impact the customers that use his business. I would suggest that if he could come to the conclusion that he is wrong, he then could start making things right. With all, personally, I do not see Mr. Borker changing his ways, simply because of the wealth he is incurring during these shady dealings.
18 U.S. Code § 2320
Chen, J. (2019) Stakeholder. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/stakeholder.asp
Halbert, T., Ingulli, E. (2015) Law & Ethics in the Business Environment. Retrieved from https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781305483125/cfi/6/2!/4/2@0:0
Sadler, B. G. (2011) Five Ethical Theories: Bare Bones for Business Educators. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/1702607/Five_Ethical_Theories_Bare_Bones_for_Business_Educators
Segal, D. (2010) A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web. Retrieved from https://purdueglobal.brightspace.com/d2l/le/content/89444/viewContent/7539101/View