1. The Public and Our Environment
For signatories, social and environmental responsibilities are fundamental elements. In every decision, signatories commit to considering social and environmental impacts with the aim of maximizing the positive and minimizing negative impacts.
We understand that our products and services have a significant role in supporting sustainable development of global resources and our decisions should be focussed on maximizing this role.
Signatories recognize the importance of transparency and common environmental metrics that will not mislead the public, partners and governments and will build trust in the positive impacts of car sharing. To do so, signatories commit to contributing to the development of such metrics and studies.
Responsible corporate citizenship
Each signatory recognizes the importance of our social role as a transportation solution and understands the importance of being a responsible corporate citizen of the communities in which we operate.
Signatories recognize the importance of preserving and maximizing access for all citizens to carsharing. We consequently operate in a manner that prevents actions and decisions that would risk the availability, affordability and durability of carsharing in the regions where we operate.
Signatories are pro-active in our communities, contributing significant time and resources to promote the health, welfare, and economic stability of our communities. We believe that our success should also contribute to the quality of life in, and the prosperity and sustainability of, communities where we work and live. Carsharing organizations always promote walking, cycling, and other public transportation and do not promote driving over more environmentally advantageous options.
2. Customer Relations
We believe in treating all customers with honesty, fairness and dignity, irrespective of whether they purchase our services directly from us or from someone else.
One of the objectives of signatories is to exceed customers’ expectations by delivering superior value through continuous improvements in quality, productivity, service flexibility and reliability, innovation and excellence and by building relationships that are mutually beneficial and that ensure long-term success.
Duties to customers
Quality of service: We provide our customers with products and services that are of the highest quality and that are consistent with customers’ requirements.
Loyalty, prudence and care: We understand the importance of loyalty and advocacy on behalf of our customers and have an obligation to act with reasonable care and exercise prudent judgment.
Fair dealings: We will deal fairly, honestly and responsibly with all customers and in all aspects of business transactions. Sales will be conducted in a truthful and accurate manner, always maintaining the highest of ethical standards. Signatories will never provide misleading or untruthful information to customers.
Informed purchase decisions: We will provide access to all the necessary information for a reasonable individual or business to make an informed purchase decision. Signatories believe in full disclosure.
Customer protection: We will not put the security of customers and their relations at risk. We have a responsibility to ensure that all customers and passengers receive an appropriate level of insurance and understand clearly their insurance coverage.
Performance presentations: We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that our performance reports are fair, accurate and complete. Signatories will use and encourage performance metrics and data recognized and common to the industry.
Pricing and billing
Signatories recognize that profit maximization is not our primary goal and we will provide affordable and competitive pricing to customers. While pricing should ensure profit and access to capital for CSOs, it should also encourage maximizing positive effects externally, including motivating customers to adopt carsharing as an alternative to car ownership, therefore contributing to social and environmental sustainability.
Signatories will make efforts to ensure that prices and illustrated products or services match and are clearly identified.
Confidentiality and privacy
We will consider every piece of information we own an asset and we will safeguard its confidentiality. Signatories will keep information about current, former, and prospective clients confidential unless the information concerns illegal activities, disclosure is required by the law or it is permitted by the client.
All signatories will abide by the United States Privacy Act and/or other national or federal privacy laws and/or applicable provincial or state privacy laws.
3. Government Relations
When dealing with governments, signatories will not forget that we represent the industry as a whole. We will encourage positive, transparent, fair and efficient relationships with governments that are key players in the development of social and environmental best practices. We will develop a common industry leadership with governments and public transportation authorities to permit the development of and better general education of carsharing practices.
We will not disclose false, incomplete or misleading information to government. This can lead to civil or criminal liability for any signatory who participates in the preparation and disclosure of this information which can damage the reputation of the industry as a whole.
We will follow government rules and laws for competing fairly, honour restrictions applying to government employees (such as gifts and employment), deliver products and services that conform to specifications and ensure the accuracy of submitted data.
4. Marketing Practices and Quality of Information
Truthfulness and quality of information
Good relations depend on openness, reciprocity, quality and trust. Information given by signatories will always be honest and complete.
Accurate: We will provide customers and the public with information concerning our services that is as clear and accurate as possible. We endeavour to use language that is easy to understand in order to allow customers and the public to make a decision with full knowledge of the facts.
Complete: We will provide customers with a copy of our general conditions. Whenever new services are offered, we will also provide customers with a copy of the document setting out customer rights and responsibilities in connection with the services offered.
Competent: We will not misrepresent our competence, credentials, experience or professional capabilities.
Marketing and sales practices
We will not accept misleading, incomplete or inaccurate information in our marketing and sales practices. When it comes to our pricing policies, our proposals to our clients and our advertisements, we will not pretend to be something that we are not.
An advertisement should not mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise.
We will not participate in any campaign involving the disparagement or exploitation of any person or group on the grounds of color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or age.
Testimonials and endorsements should be positioned as opinion, not fact, unless supported by valid research. Testimonials and endorsements should not be given out of context so as to distort the opinion or experience of the person or organization quoted.
Accounting and reporting practices
In such contexts where accuracy and transparency of financial information is important and a source of credibility, signatories will accurately report all reasonable financial information in our business relations. To do otherwise might encourage one to invest or conduct business based on inaccurate information and could damage the reputation and credibility of the carsharing industry.
Our environment is a very important element in the carsharing industry and signatories’ environmental claims will be accurate, verifiable and clear. All claims will be used very carefully and recognized metrics and measures will be used whenever available.
The basis of any claim will be explained clearly and qualified where necessary. Unqualified claims may mislead if they omit significant information. Signatories will not use information out of context or establish conclusions based on biased extrapolations.
Where there is a significant division of scientific opinion or where evidence is inconclusive, notification will be reflected in any statements made in the advertisement.
Comparative advertising and disparagement
Competition is appreciated, pushing the whole industry to be innovative, offer high quality services and promote competitive pricing to customers.
Comparisons will be fair, factual, verifiable and designed without the likelihood of a customer being misled. The basis of selection will be clear and the elements of comparison will not be unfairly selected in a way that gives an artificial advantage. Similar aspects of products or services will be compared.
Marketing materials and communications will not stress insignificant differences designed to lead the customer or business to draw a false conclusion.
Signatories will not use inaccurate information to attack, degrade, discredit or damage the reputation of a competitor’s products, services, advertisements or organizations. In general, carsharing organizations should compete to expand the entire carsharing market rather than encourage members to leave one organization and join another.
Qualified environmental comparisons may be acceptable if signatories can demonstrate that our services and products provide an improvement in environmental terms either against our competitor’s or our own previous services and products. In every case, signatories will be extremely thoughtful and accurate.
Research, statistics and industry metrics
We will ensure that test, survey or other data reported in marketing communications is produced in accordance with established scientific principles and generally accepted research practices so that it is valid and reliable.
Research that supports comparisons to other products and services should be subject to scrupulous methodologies. Claims should not take the research results or any industry metrics out of context or distort them.
We agree to contribute to the development of, and to respect, common industry metrics and statistics. We will encourage universities, researchers, government and special groups to develop metrics and standards specific to the carsharing industry. We strive to participate in monitoring trends and environment impacts by providing reasonably requested and relevant data.
5. Professional and Fair Behaviour
We have high expectations of each other and expect each signatory to strive for excellence, act responsibly and work for industry growth. We know that sustained success in the carsharing industry depends on our ability to shape the future through resourceful and respectful marketing and superior service. We will comply with the following business standards.
Respect for others
We respect our industry by conducting ourselves in a manner that earns the respect of others. We believe that as CSOs we have a responsibility to the industry as a whole and dedicate ourselves to the highest standards of excellence. We want to be as proud of the industry as we are of our organizations. The long-term success of our industry depends upon establishing mutually beneficial relationships.
We have the responsibility to promote competitive behaviour and demonstrate mutual respect among competitors. We will maintain competitive fairness by practicing ethical procedures.
We will not obtain information regarding a competitor using deceptive or surreptitious means.
We will refrain from either seeking or participating in questionable payments or favours to secure competitive advantages. For example, we recognize that exclusive contracts can hinder opportunities for others to increase car availability in a community and that this is harmful to the industry.
Predatory pricing and dumping
We will not engage in predatory pricing vehicle dumping or any such illegal measures that are based on unsustainable pricing or services. These negative practices will only benefit customers in the short term but may negatively impact them over the long term.
Conflicts of interest
Conflicts of interest concern everyone in our industry. There are many potential conflicts of interest and it is important that each signatory be able to recognize and minimize them before the conflicts lead to compromising situations and negatively impacting the carsharing industry’s reputation and credibility.
6. Knowledge and Obedience of the Law
This Code does not purport to replace legal advice or provide legal guidance. Signatories will stay informed about relevant laws that apply in our jurisdictions.
Signatories will understand and comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations of any government, regulatory organization, or professional association governing our professional activities.
In the event of conflict, signatories will comply with the more strict law, rule or regulation. Signatories will not knowingly participate or assist in and should dissociate from any violation of such laws, rules, or regulations.