Unethical business practices harm consumers. If left untackled, it will wreak havoc on society and cause damages to the community and the country. But some of unscrupulous behaviors in Canada can find its ethnical grounds. In fact, many of those who have engaged in terribly unethical business behaviours are immigrants from a country where business practices lack moral grounds, and laws and regulations governing scrupulous practices lack teeth.
A Globe investigation report has revealed such unethical practices of a fast growing B.C. real estate company –New Coast Realty, which bought and sold over a billion dollar in property value last year. The owner of the company, a Chinese immigrant, reportedly instructed his firm’s agents to engage in activities that appear to contravene the realtors’ code of conduct. According to the report, agents, who are required to act in the best interest of clients, were told to maximize commission by engaging in double-end deals that are often at the sellers’ expense.
The Globe article reported two frustrated home sellers who believe to have become of the victims of the shadow flipping practice by the firm’s agents.
Home seller A told the Globe that he believed that the company’s agent flipped the contract multiple times before the sale closed, allowing the agents pocketing commission for each transaction. When the home was eventually sold for $300,000 more than what the seller had received, he realized that he had been duped.
Seller B alleged that, four day after his home sale contract closed, the property was listed on the market by the firm again for a price nearly $400,000 higher than we he had sold for. B believed that he was deceived.
New Coast Realty owner also allegedly encouraged his agents to use various tactics to suppress sellers’ bottom price – including telling sellers that wealthy buyers were afraid of high risks of earthquakes and tsunamis in the region– a myths contrary to the fact.
Unethical practices are not rare in the Chinese community. Since the Private Career College Act became effective in 2005, the registrations of several career colleges in the Toronto Chinese community were suspended by the Ministry for failing to comply with the Act.
Mountain Institute of Technology was revoked license in 2009 for misrepresenting the Ministry that it had delivered the promised training programs. A few random inspections by the Ministry found that some scheduled training courses were not offered to the students, whose trainings were funded by the government – from tuitions to costs of transportation.
But unethical business practices will cause irrevocable damage to the reputation of the businesses, or even drive them to the ground. Many career colleges in the community have since disappeared, rendering the demise of a once thriving business model – offering second career training programs to those who have just lost jobs.
New Coast Realty has also suffered business damages. Since the Globe story was published, the B.C. real estate council steps in and has put the firm on short leash. It also states that more actions will be taken against the company.
As the saying goes, what goes around comes around. The unscrupulous behaviours will eventually come back to haunt the perpetrators. Chinese Canadians are unable to establish a reputable business in Canada without adopting high ethical business standards first.
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