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What would you do.. unethical business practice
Thread poster: Ana Naglić

Ana Naglić  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 19:03
Member (2005)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Sep 8, 2008

Imagine this scenario:

You are a small business owner with a registered translation company.
You put a brass plate on your building, (as required by the law).

Then, one morning, you find a glued advertisement of another language teaching & translation company next to your plate (approx. 20-30cm). Their office is 2 blocks away and there are no ads on other buildings in the neighbourhood, just on the entrance of your building, next to your company's plate.
They glued it so well that you cannot peel it off or scratch it off with a knife, you have to use solvents to remove it.

You called the agency (the owner (allegedly?) wasn't there) and you told the secretary that you wanted to speak with the owner in order to discuss the issue and solve it with him/her, yet no one called to appologize or to discuss the matter with you.
They said that the students might glued it (Why next to your plate? Why students? Why would they use the extra strong glue?).
In my country, it is illegal to place advertisments on buildings (without approval and without paying a fee to your local tax office) and public lamp posts, but no one cares (even loansharks put they ads there).
It is also illegal to destroy public/private property.

What would you do in your country? What (legal?) actions could/would you take?

[Uređeno u 2008-09-08 17:56]


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:03
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
. Sep 8, 2008



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John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Return the sign personally Sep 8, 2008

I would extract the sign by whatever means and personally return it the company owner at his office. Take a large friend if you easily feel physically intimidated.

If you show your face, you'll probably never hear from them again.

I wouldn't bother with the police and courts, and I wouldn't get too upset either. This sort of thing happens between local competitors all the time.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:03
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely - Physical presence in an educated way Sep 8, 2008

John Rawlins wrote:
I would extract the sign by whatever means and personally return it the company owner at his office. Take a large friend if you easily feel physically intimidated.

If you show your face, you'll probably never hear from them again.


Exactly. Returning the sign personally in a good-humoured attitude. An attacker never expects a frank, open, good-humoured response. They will think about it twice.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:03
English to French
+ ...
Take notes and a picture first Sep 8, 2008

I would jot down dates, times, facts and name sof people who have seen the sign as well. Just in case. You don't know who you're dealing with, and they may feel tempted to do it again a few days later. Then, you would have documentation of the first case and will be able to prove that it was a repeat offence, should your "case" escalate.

For your personal visit, I would have someone accompany me as a witness. Either that, or send a proper cease and desist, which I would only resort to if all else fails, as it may seem threatening to these people, whom you don't know.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:03
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Local laws about beneficiaries Sep 8, 2008

Ana Naglić wrote:
In my country, it is illegal to place advertisments on buildings (without approval and without paying a fee to your local tax office) and public lamp posts, but no one cares (even loansharks put they ads there).


Get some advice about your city's local laws. I have heard of cases where the beneficiary of an illegal advertisement can be held accountable and/or liable for it.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:03
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
vandalism Sep 8, 2008

In my books that would classify as vandalism and there are probably laws against that. The owner/management of the building might be able/willing to support you as well as it's definitely not in their interest to have others follow this example and plaster all kinds of advertisement on their building.

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Ana Naglić  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 19:03
Member (2005)
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Sep 9, 2008

Thank you for your comments - this time I decided to peel it off myseld (a painful process, as the glue that was used is really strong (paper glued on glass)).
But I saved the photo in case this happens again.
And no, the owner of that company did not contact me although I gave my contact details to his/her secretary.


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Ana Naglić  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 19:03
Member (2005)
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good idea Sep 9, 2008

John Rawlins wrote:

I would extract the sign by whatever means and personally return it the company owner at his office.


Good idea, but it was glued so well that I had to take it off in bits and pieces.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:03
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Goo Gone Sep 9, 2008

Is this product available where you live? It works wonders with removing paper and stickers from glass:



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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:03
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Lucky to live in a country with law enforcement Sep 9, 2008

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:
In my books that would classify as vandalism and there are probably laws against that. The owner/management of the building might be able/willing to support you as well as it's definitely not in their interest to have others follow this example and plaster all kinds of advertisement on their building.


Heike, you are lucky to live in a country where law is law and is taken seriously. Over here in Spain, creativity is a must as suing anyone about anything is just a sure way of wasting your money. It is virtually impossible to claim any damages our of anyone unfortunately.

[Edited at 2008-09-09 16:13]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:03
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Let's assume it is illegal Sep 9, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
Get some advice about your city's local laws. I have heard of cases where the beneficiary of an illegal advertisement can be held accountable and/or liable for it.


Good. Let's assume it is illegal. Do you want Ana to spend many months in visits to court and have to pay a lawyer to claim.... maybe 100 euros in damages?

Honest Samuel, after going to court twice in my life to claim damages and unpaid salaries I can only recommend to stay away of courts and try to find creative solutions. Or even better... not doing anything and pray to God that it does not happen again. God is certainly far more efficient than courts.

[Edited at 2008-09-09 16:16]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:03
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
City council may not need a court Sep 9, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:
Good. Let's assume it is illegal. Do you want Ana to spend many months in visits to court and have to pay a lawyer to claim.... maybe 100 euros in damages?


If it is illegal in that city, and if the city council is dilligent in combating such things, then perhaps the city council will fine the beneficiary without requiring that witnesses hire lawyers and go to court.

Honest Samuel, after going to court twice in my life to claim damages and unpaid salaries I can only recommend to stay away of courts and try to find creative solutions.


I haven't been to court myself, but I agree with you on this point anyway. A court is generally something to be avoided.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:03
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I see! Sep 9, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
If it is illegal in that city, and if the city council is dilligent in combating such things, then perhaps the city council will fine the beneficiary without requiring that witnesses hire lawyers and go to court.


Oh I see what you meant. Yes, that might be an option if Ana's identity is confidential. Well, I reckon this is so far over now. Maybe the other company's manager just wanted to see what Ana's reaction was. Now he/she knows. And I think Ana did the right thing here.


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