Responsibility

@SViswan (12071)
India
July 22, 2008 6:29am CST
If your boss asked you to lie to your customer/client, would you do it? Is your responsibility towards your boss who pays you or two your customer/client who trusts you (or has a decision to make based on what you say)?
9 people like this
24 responses
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
22 Jul 08
No I wouldn't lie to the customer/client. After all they are really the ones paying you even if it is through your boss. I would be looking for another job real soon if my boss ask me to lie for him. after all integrity is everything. I wouldn't want my customer/client to distrust me and that is who would pay in the long run.
3 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
22 Jul 08
That's how I think too...but sometimes when the job is really important to a person....they might be caught in between because they can't afford to lose their job.
2 people like this
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
22 Jul 08
As a customer I would be very angry id someone lied to me about a product or service. I might even be suing the company for the lie. Depending on the product or service it could be really devastating. So I couldn't lie
@p1kef1sh (45640)
23 Jul 08
I don't think so. I would rather work for someone with integrity than lie for them. But lots of people do tell lies in business. If there is honesty from the outset them there should be no reason to lie.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
I was asked to lie by my boss. Though I understand a little lying in business...I do not think it's right where human life is concerned....like at a hospital or school.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
23 Jul 08
I think that's appalling. At your school you mean? I can certainly appreciate the crisis of conscience that must have put you under. I hope that it is all resolved now.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Jul 08
I thought it was resolved....but I have a feeling it was all an eyewash to get us teachers to zip our lips. Anyways, I'll be going to school to check the situation in the evening.
@dpk262006 (56482)
• Delhi, India
23 Jul 08
SV, Theoritically, I would go by the directions of my boss, because it is he who is my employer. I am supposed to be loyal to him, not to the customers, who may come once in a life time. I am paid by my boss, so I am supposed to follow his instructions, whether good or bad. Displeasing my boss will lend me in trouble, on the other hand if I displease a customer, another will follow him. So please do not expect salesman at a shop that he/she would show loyality to you as a customer, until and unless he/she some grude against his/her boss.....LOL!
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
lol....I can understand that attitude at a shop....and that's why I will never make a good salesperson (and won't even try). But here the situation is different....this is something that happened at my workplace and I was asked to lie to the parents...which I refused....because the kids were my responsibility.
@dpk262006 (56482)
• Delhi, India
24 Jul 08
LOL! Sales man customer relationship is different from teacher-student relationship. Had you mentioned the actual reason behind your discussion........my reply might have been different...............LOL! Anyway, you are intelligent and mature enough to decide, whom to lie and whom to not.............!!! I think, whatever you did, you would have done correctly with all your wisdom.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Jul 08
lol..that's a lot of trust in my decision!
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jul 08
i think i would try to figure out a way of not lying but of course i dont know what kind of circumstances there are but i try to never lie but i would hope there would be a good reason for a boss to ask you that.. who knows.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
I didn't think it was a good enough reason....and thinking from a client/customer's point of view, I personally would have appreciated the truth more than the lie.
• United States
24 Jul 08
well i kind of need an example so i would know how i would feel about it.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Jul 08
I'm a kindergarten teacher and snakes were seen in the school 7 times. The head has asked us to lie to the parents and tell them that the people who saw them were lying and there are no snakes. The teachers want the parents to be told the truth and close down the school for a couple of days to get rid of the rodents and to close all the gaps so that the snakes don't come in.
1 person likes this
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
22 Jul 08
It would depend how serious the lie is... If I were asked to sell a defective product which would cause the client to lose money... I would not do it. And if my boss wanted to fire me for refusing to do so... I would take him into court... and I would win. It comes down to your own set of values and morality. How far are you prepare to go to earn money? Does everything go? Keep also in mind that if you go along with your boss on this... and your boss is eventually caught and charged for fraud... you could be charged as well.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
Exactly! I work at this school (my sons go there too) and snakes were seen in a classroom. The school was off that day and the reason given to parents was that there was a leakage in the pipes and repair work was going on. But the principal also asked me to lie about the snakes if a parent asked. Of course, I refused because the lives of the kids are my responsibility....but it got me thinking because even though some of the other teachers felt it wasn't right to lie....they didn't want to lose their job either because their whole families depended on it.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
It was the 7th time it happened. The first 2-3 times, we felt the same and didn't think too much of it. And since we can't stop wildlife and it wasn't anyone's fault that the snakes got in, I felt we didn't need to lie to the parents about it. After all the teachers putting their foot down, the management has decided to do something about it. The kids at this school are kindergarten kids and we can't even teach them a drill to help themselves IF a snake happens to be caught inside one of the classrooms when kids are in.
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
22 Jul 08
If you are lying to the client, it means that you are probably doing something to empty his pockets and line your bosses. Lying to the client would be way wrong. I would not do it. I would talk to the boss and see if I really understood him properly did he want me to lie or did I misunderstand his reason for what he said.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
22 Jul 08
There are quite a few organizations (atleast in India) where the bosses make their employees lie. If caught, the employees are in trouble and the boss goes scotfree. And that is why I always take anything that anyone tells me with a pinch of salt.
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I think I have talked with some of those support people, where they tried telling me things that I knew were wrong and they insisted I was wrong.
• United States
22 Jul 08
My loyalty would be to the client, especially since the boss is asking me to outright lie to the customer. First, I couldn't live with the guilt of lying to the client, especially if it caused them a great hardship. Second, if the client found out about the lie, it would come back on me, causing me to lose my job with that corporation altogether. Because I feel that if a boss is asking me to lie, they wouldn't own up to that fact once the consequences came back around. If I were in that situation, I would go above the boss' head and let some higher-up know what that boss was trying to get me to do. If that wasn't possible, say in a small business where the boss is the head of the corporation, I would start looking for a new job. There's no telling what other unscrupulous things are going on if the boss is asking you to lie to clients.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
22 Jul 08
Yes, that sounds like the ethical thing to do...but sometimes...a person can't afford to lose a job and might be in a fix in such a situation.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
Luckily here in the US we have Unemployment. In the case where I needed the money, I would tell the boss that I wasn't going to lie for him, and hope that he would fire me. That way I could file for unemployment and use that to get me through to the next job. I'm sorry there is no way I could remain at a position where I was expected to lie, and I would find someway to get out of it and still survive.
• Australia
25 Jul 08
Legally and morally, lying to a customer is wrong, though it is acceptable to withhold non vital info. If my boss was asking me to lie to customers, I would be going straight the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or the Department of Fair Trading and ratting my boss out (I live in Australia and these are the 2 major organisations that help to keep busninesses honest). I wouldn't care if I lost my job over it either, because at least I would not be dragged into the courts being sued for knowingly lying to a customer about a product or service I had sold them.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
25 Jul 08
I agree with the withholding non-vital information...but not outright lying.
• United States
24 Jul 08
I would go Mata Hari. I would wire myself for sound and tape the boss telling me to lie And then I would go to the Better Business Bureau and my local news channel and I would rat my boss and the company out.I am not getting paid enough to lie to a customer. Thankfully in my work you Must tell the truth and there is no benefit to lying.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Jul 08
lol..that's exactly what my husband asked me to do!
1 person likes this
@aseretdd (13736)
• Philippines
24 Jul 08
This is a very difficult situation... and i experienced this when i was still working abroad... my boss wanted me to lie about certain data that will make the operation of our sector appear a lot better than it should... and i had to do it otherwise it will be termination for me... and i had to pay for my own ticket to go back home... i hated it and this is partially one reason why i did not renew my contract after it expired...
@SViswan (12071)
• India
24 Jul 08
Yes, that's the kind of situation that I was talking about....even though your conscience says do the right thing...it would be at the cost of your job. I'm sorry you had to make the choice.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
23 Jul 08
What a difficult situation! No customer would ultimately be a repeat customer if he is goingto be presented with false promises.After all, they will be found out some day and it would be detrimental to the company. Convinnce your boss about this and you be truthful to the job that you have undertaken. You will have to avoid the situation and let the boss do the lying if he wants to.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
I did just that...and am I glad my colleagues followed suit:)
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
23 Jul 08
if i lie and it will effect the company's reputation in the long run.. i will tell the truth. if i lie and it will cause the customer to spend unnecessarily and i know he cant afford to.. i will tell the truth. i dont think anything good will come from telling a lie.. once you tell a lie.. it become easier also.. to tell the next one.. rather not make a habit of it... most probably i would just tell the boss to tell the customer himself, or get him to assign someone to lie 'for the company'...
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
another point...I might forget a lie...while trying to cover up one lie with another lie....and another one to cover that...and then I'd be so confused about all the lies I said...and would eventually be caught.
@nengs10 (3188)
• Philippines
23 Jul 08
It depends on the situation. If the lie is just a peccadillo or trivial, I may do that probably especially if that's for the good of two parties involved. But if the lie will incur a bigger sin and impact, I won't do it. I really have to say no.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
In my case....my conscience wouldn't let me do it.
@jer31558 (3683)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I think that I would not be able to lie to someone for my boss. If he were that concerned about his employees, he would not ask them to lie in the first place.
1 person likes this
@I_LUV_U (2519)
• India
24 Jul 08
I would not compromise my integrity for job security; I would rather disobey his orders and quit working under him as soon as possible, if he hasn't fired me just yet. I think it is only under such difficult circumstances that our real character gets tested and approved, for even a thief would be a principled man if it is not for the "helpless" circumstances of his life to make him forgo his ideals (if any). So, if we have to prove ourselves any different from crooks, thieves, murderers etc, this is the time.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
22 Jul 08
AS a customer I would hate to be lied too they boss should ask it of you. I kno I would be very mad if I was lied too.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
So would I. lol....funny thing....there's this situation where I am an employee as well as availing their services....so what am to think if the boss asked me to lie to other customers?
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
23 Jul 08
I would think he is a crook! and might start looking for a new job
@padma84 (98)
23 Jul 08
The boss is ALWAYS RIGHT..... SO YOU SEE
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 Jul 08
lol..definitely not mine!
@secretbear (19464)
• Philippines
13 Sep 08
hi sviswan! well, it depends on what kind of lie my boss would want me to tell and the circumstances and the kind of client we are dealing with. i have lied for my boss regarding her whereabouts when a pesky client called for her. the client was a demanding one and really pesky who were calling every hour which gave us (my boss's staff) the impression that he doesn't trust us. and my boss had already answered his questions and queries and we just don't have any idea what more did he want of our boss. and we were getting really annoyed so it was easier for us to lie about our boss's whereabouts. sometimes, there are clients who are unreasonable too. and it makes it more understandable when when my boss or other heads of divisions would tell things that are not exactly the truth or hide things that are not necessarily needed to be shared.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
11 Aug 08
It all depends really. Firstly, is it a flat out lie? Or am I stretching the truth so to speak to buy some time or to save face? Secodnly, what are the consequences of me being less than truthful here? If my reputation is possibly at stake or there are serious consequences to being caught out then there is no way I would do it and I am certainly not going to be a scapegoat for any boss! There are so many variables to this that could make this acceptable in my opinion! For example, if you are a Real Estate Agent and you say to a client that a house has an offer of 500 thousand on it already so if they wish to buy it they will need to come in with more money; is this a lie? Or is this smart sales tactics to get a better price, higher commissions and to please your boss? The other example as a bad one is if your boss told you to say to a client that no, the house basement does not flood, yet you know it does! This in my opinion us unacceptable and very dishonest and you run a very real risk of losing your reputation over it. There are always variables!
• Singapore
11 Aug 08
I would try find another job if so. There has to be a certain understanding in the workplace. Lying to customers breaches ethics. Unless you are comfortable with it then... fine.