A Conversation for Ask h2g2

'Mates Rates'

Post 1

Just Bob aka Robert Thompson, plugging my film blog cinemainferno-blog.blogspot.co.uk

I've been wondering erecently about 'mates rates'. I work in a lowly role within a multinational law firm, and as a result have been given compulsory training regarding corruption, money laundering and so on. One thing this covered was that granting or requesting of favours of various kinds can often fall under legislation designed to combat unethical business practices. Some of these carry very harsh penalties, including lengthy prison sentences.
The thing is, although I have never been anywhere near a position with the authority to do so, I have always liked the *idea* of being able to help out a pal with the products or services of a company where I am so authorized, as long as I am confident that the company could take the reduction in profit margin.
So, where do you stand? Is there a place for discretionary pricing on the part of, say, a company's owner, purely on the grounds of friendship? Or is it just too much of a minefield, and best avoided in all circumstances?


'Mates Rates'

Post 2

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

The bigger the company, the less confident I would be. If you have a one-person business, you probably could do it, as long as you aren't giving special rates to politicians. That might smack of trying to influence legislation.


'Mates Rates'

Post 3

bobstafford

WHEN IT HITS THE FAN THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS FRIENDS! smiley - erm


'Mates Rates'

Post 4

Bluebottle

I wonder if you could give your mates have a loyalty card that gives them, say, 10% off and have the loyalty scheme open to others (but not necessarily advertise it widely)? Lots of companies have discount cards if you know how to get them.
Or could you say you are conducting market research to determine whether those who are given a discount on goods or services become regular loyal customers who spend more long term?

<BB<


'Mates Rates'

Post 5

Orcus

I thought until recently that this was restricted to public institutions such as wot I work in. If you have a visitor these days we cannot buy them a pint without accompanying food otherwise it’s classed as ‘bribery’ smiley - facepalm

However I have recently discovered from my brother who works for British Aerospace that they can’t even buy their clients a coffee these days. Ironically- this has improved the quality of coffee they have now as a consequence is that the office workers there have all bought themselves an espresso machine smiley - bigeyes

I’ve got to admit I used to disapprove a bit of the old company jolly at Twickers or whatever (probably mostly as being at a Uni I never got invited to such parties smiley - biggrin) but they seem to have swung the pendulum a bit too far. I bet Deloitte - Touche et al still manage corporate jollies nevertheless.


'Mates Rates'

Post 6

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

As a government contractor, we're given yearly ethics training and there is a specific law that limits "gifts", including meals, between contract employees and federal workers. It mainly prohibits gifts given in expectation of contract awards or favorable treatment and there are explicit exemptions: $20 or less, $50 in aggregate from one source per calendar year, pre-existing relationships, "modest refreshments" but not as part of a "meal".

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/restrictions-gifts-federal-employees-46809.html


'Mates Rates'

Post 7

Bluebottle

Our regulations here state that under the 2010 Bribery Act if we are given a smiley - gift, entertainment or hospitality worth in excess of £50 given, received or offered it must be appropriately declared. Not that I've been given a smiley - gift worth in excess £5. The office did chip in and get me a mug for my birthday a few years ago, though.

<BB<


'Mates Rates'

Post 8

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

"As a government contractor, we're given yearly ethics training and there is a specific law that limits "gifts"[Barion Grim]

I had to go through the ethics training, too, as I worked for a town government. I wasn't sure what special treatment I could give anyone, though, as almost everything a public library offers is free anyway.


'Mates Rates'

Post 9

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Well, if any of y'all happen to go to space and shoot rolls and rolls of medium or large format film, I'll be happy to make you a deal on extremely high res scans. smiley - laugh


'Mates Rates'

Post 10

Sho - gainfully employed again

I used to be in charge of compliance at my old job and this kind of thing is really strictly controlled these days in a very thorough way.

I actually loved doing that.


'Mates Rates'

Post 11

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Notice how strictly federal workers and contractors are limited in gifting.


Now compare that to politicians, especially those in the current US administration and legislature.


AHEM! (Trump Tower) AHEM!
COUGH! (Emoluments) COUGH!


'Mates Rates'

Post 12

paulh. I write captions for pictures of cats. The shame! The shame!

Baron, my bleary eyes misread your post. I thought the words said hi res scams. smiley - erm


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