How to protect your business from unethical consumer behaviour

There are three key business behaviours that will assist your business when dealing with unethical consumers:

  1. Make sure that all staff is aware of all the stores policies and procedures when dealing with a customer.
  2. Encourage your staff to get to know their customers by name. Developing a rapport can help to ensure fair and equitable treatment.
  3. Instill in your staff that no customers concern is to be dismissed and have a complaints procedure that escalates up to upper management.

An obvious way to tackle consumer dishonesty is to install security devices and personnel throughout your business in order to ward off consumers who engage in crimes of opportunity.

A less obvious route that coincides with good customer service is to enhance customer loyalty- or to increase relationship marketing. Many businesses are aware that it is up to six times more difficult to attract new customers as it is to retain existing ones. This has important consequences for businesses’ customer service record, including handling customer complaints.

High customer loyalty also reduces unethical consumer behaviour because customers who consider themselves as having a relationship with your business are less likely to shoplift or engage in other unethical acts.

In Bermuda, common examples of unethical consumer behaviour reported to Consumer Affairs include:

  • People impersonating Consumer Affairs personnel in a bid to deceive businesses into refunding money;
  • Switching clothing set sizes so that the top is one size and the bottom another;
  • Switching price tags so that items are marked as cheaper than they should be;
  • Tampering with a product so as to report it as faulty to gain a refund.

Marketing strategies that rely on personalising a business’s staff to the public, supporting the community through volunteering and corporate donations to community events, and being socially responsible are all are excellent ways to build customer loyalty. Having highly trained staff that are responsive to customers’ needs, including handling their complaints in a successful manner, is also a positive step.


Guide to the Sale of Goods Act for Retailers.pdf


How to learn more about Consumer Affairs?

The Consumer Affairs Education Officer is responsible for educating both the consumer and the business community in all aspects of the Consumer Protection Act 1999, Supply of Services (Implied Terms) Act 2003, the Copyright and Design Act 2004, Sale of Goods Act 2007, Rent Increases (Domestic Premises) Control Act 1978 and all other Consumer Related legislation that deals with the purchase of goods and services. Please contact us if you are interested in a presentation, lunch and learn, hands on training or just want more information.

Call (441) 27297-7627 or email for further information.