The APRO Code of Ethics was created alongside the association in 1980, written by the first APRO members to establish a set of guidelines consistent with what they felt should be ingrained in the industry’s values, priorities, and ethical standards.
Today, this 14-point Code of Ethics endures as the defining guidance that APRO members agree upon in order to maintain a healthy business environment for the rent-to-own industry. As our Code of Ethics continues to be not just relevant but essential to our association and our membership four decades later, we offer this series of newsletter articles to recap and reconfirm each of these ethical standards with you.
Members shall maintain their inventory in a clean, safe, and operating condition, and furnish the best products available for customer rental.
The eighth article of the APRO Code of Ethics highlights the importance of offering the best possible products to rent-to-own customers.
This might seem like a no-brainer – of course RTO customers, like all consumers, expect and deserve products that are clean, safe, and fully operational. But this standard takes on special significance in rent-to-own, where products can be rented more than once.
Brand-new products should and typically do come in pristine condition. But it’s up to rental dealers to ensure previously rented products are restored to their optimal condition for the next customer who rents them. And if a product cannot be refurbished to a state of excellence, then it’s up to the rental dealer to call it a loss and not return it to the showroom.
RTO inventory – just like every rent-to-own storefront and every employee – is a reflection on not only that company, but also the RTO industry as a whole. When a business delivers an electronic item, appliance, or piece of furniture that isn’t up to snuff, it dissuades that customer from continuing to do business with that company, and possibly, with rent-to-own companies, period. Additionally, the potentially positive word-of-mouth recommendations the customer might have provided about their RTO experience could now just as easily devolve into badmouthing the business.
Unlike retailers, rental dealers carry the responsibility of making sure they offer not only the latest, greatest, on-trend inventory, but also items that are meticulously maintained — while they’re in customers’ homes and when they’re in-between customer homes.