Principles of ethical business needed for sales of digital devices and services

Through the declarations, Uudenmaan Digitukiverkosto (UuDi) (the Uusimaa digital support network) seeks to influence the digital support issues that are considered to be of common importance. By joining the forces of the network behind a common message, we want to reach a wider audience and make our voices heard. The statement has been planned and implemented by a working group of network members. It was confirmed and signed at a network webinar event on 12 October 2021.

Principles of ethical business needed for sales of digital devices and services

Uudenmaan Digitukiverkosto (UuDi) wants to promote applying ethical principles of business to the sales of digital devices and services. The signatories of the declaration invite sales companies to develop shared solutions for promoting responsible business together with digital support experts. Our common goal should be that customers feel that the devices and services bought fulfil their needs and that unnecessary or overlapping purchases can be avoided right from the sales stage.

The need for shared solutions and mutual dialogue exists on both sides. In their work, digital support experts often come across situations where customers have been sold products they do not need. Cancelling overlapping Internet subscriptions and returning unnecessary devices is frustrating, time consuming and expensive for both customers and vendors.

If the sales process for devices and services is not seen as trustworthy, people will also stop buying useful devices or goods that would enrich their lives.

The expertise of people working in digital support would help bring new perspectives on the potential pitfalls of sales work.

Utilising the expertise of digital support workers allows for creating guidelines and policies for taking different customer groups into consideration and compiling understandable consumer instructions for acquiring a suitable product.

–  “When the sales people are able to serve senior customers, for example, even better, the situation will be more pleasant for both parties, and the customer’s needs will be better considered during the purchase situation. It is worth developing competence for dealing with and listening to different customer groups,” says Tiina Etelämäki from the SeniorSurf operations of VTKL – The Finnish Association for the Welfare of Older People.

–  “Establishing communication between digital support workers and companies is very important, and Elisa wishes to be part of developing this cooperation. Sharing best practices and dividing the challenges observed facilitates understanding and consideration of the needs of different customer groups, both in sales work and when ensuring that the services are commissioned. Understanding the customer and ensuring that they get everything they need from the digital services benefits all parties. Elisa strives to facilitate this by listening to and guiding customers based on their individual needs,” says Service Manager Annukka Matilainen from Elisa, a sales company invited to work as a part of the network.

There is no need to be nervous of acquiring devices – bolster your digital courage through digital support

The 2021 theme of UuDi is digital courage. It is important to remind people that there is no reason to be nervous of buying digital devices or services. You do not have to be alone with your choices, and you do not need to know everything. In addition to ethical matters, the sales person must consider the consumer’s specific needs, and the consumer must be able to talk about their own situation. A professional

sales person also knows how to review the consumer’s situation. At its best, a sales situation is all about cooperation between the customer and the seller to find the perfect solution.

Help is available even if you are just considering a purchase. Digital support offers help when you feel that your digital knowledge is not quite enough to navigate the vast product selection. You can ask for support with reviewing your own needs, for example, and advice on acquiring devices is also available. For example, ENTER ry offers guides and briefings for purchasing digital devices (in Finnish).

There is also no need to worry if you are having second thoughts about the suitability of a product you have already purchased. There is no shame in asking for help and support when the sale is not what you wished for. You can also learn more about the legislation protecting consumers (in Finnish) so that you know your own rights and obligations as a customer.

Consumer protection also applies to telemarketing and online sales. Help with any questions on the subject is available from the Consumers’ Union of Finland and the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s Consumer Advice service.

– “When purchasing goods online or via phone, orders can usually be returned within 14 days of receiving the device or signing the service agreement. The goods or services do not need to be faulty in any way in these cases – just changing your mind about the purchase is a good enough reason for cancelling. The return right is not invalidated even if you test the device,” says Secretary General Juha Beurling-Pomoell of the Consumers’ Union of Finland.