February, 2010
Ethics
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Network Marketing Organizations

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

The ASHI Code of Ethics Committee is charged with developing ethics education and awareness for ASHI members and answering Requests for Interpretation (RFI) of our Code of Ethics.

When serious questions arise about the intent and applicability of the revised code, members are encouraged to review previous requests and responses on the ASHI Members Only Web site under Resources.

If there has not been a request for an interpretation to a similar situation, please submit your question using the required RFI form, which can be found under Downloads/ASHI Forms & Documents.

We will continue to provide the members with the committee’s response to the questions posed by their fellow home inspectors. This response is based on the revised Code of Ethics, approved in June 2004.

Request for Interpretation

Can I join a network marketing organization? This organization is called XXX and is a worldwide network marketing organization. You pay an annual fee of $330. Only one professional from an industry can join at a time. The concept is to get referrals from other business professionals and also give referrals to those business professionals. There is no monetary reward for either giving or receiving a referral. The only reward is more business for your own company. You are not considered a preferred vendor.

Response

Participation by an ASHI inspector in a networking organization does not violate the ASHI Code of Ethics as long as the inspector adheres to the Code of Ethics in the relationships developed as a result of being a member of the networking organization.

The purpose of networking organizations is to allow professionals from varying fields an opportunity to meet and become familiar with the services of others in the group  and to see ways in which the members may cooperate to increase business for the members.

As long as an ASHI inspector does not provide compensation for referrals to another member in the group, there is no violation of the ASHI Code of Ethics. Likewise, the inspector shall not accept compensation for any referrals provided and should recommend contractors, services or products the inspector believes will meet the needs of the client.