APRO’s Code of Ethics was created alongside the association in 1980, written by APRO’s first 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 promote the use of rental goods and services, and shall educate members and the general public in the advancement, improvement, and uses of the rental industry.
The 10th article of the APRO Code of Ethics highlights the importance of educating, informing, and promoting rent-to-own as a legitimate business designed to provide essential goods and services to customers and communities in need.
As rental dealers are too often reminded, the RTO industry is burdened by archaic misperceptions and negative stereotypes around its pricing and other business practices. Consumer advocates are always at the ready to attack the industry based on an antiquated yet persistent reputation for price-gouging and other unscrupulous behavior.
So it is up to the individuals who compose the industry not only to conduct their businesses with the utmost integrity, authenticity, and their clients’ best interests at heart, but also to proactively enlighten their customers, community leaders, elected officials, and yes, consumer groups about how rent-to-own consistently provides for and contributes to the greater good of lower-income families and their local communities.
In other words, APRO members must work to help create and spread good news about their industry, their companies, their employees, and their customers. From advertising great deals to supporting the APRO Charitable Foundation, from sponsoring a youth sports team to calling out employee excellence on social media, every positive story rent-to-own has to tell should be shared as far and wide as possible to counteract lingering negative lore about RTO.