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Unethical or ignorant?

Is ignorance an excuse for giving the wrong advice? Or is it as unethical as someone deliberately misleading a client for their own gain?

I have previously written about the integrity of businesses misleading clients, but how different it is if the supplier gives bad advice from ignorance?

If you are paying someone as an expert, you have a right to expect their information to be reliable and trustworthy. Let’s face it, if you had the information and knowledge yourself, you wouldn’t have asked them in the first place!

Some supppliers will give advice based on out-of-date information (“it worked in 1995 so why should we change it?”), personal opinion (“I don’t like brown therefore it is a bad colour to use in every situation” reasoning) or no knowledge at all. And they mean absolutely no harm by it and probably think they are helping you.

Personally, I don’t think that is professional or ethical – if you are charging people money for your knowledge, then you should have that knowledge to start with! And you should keep that knowledge up to date.

Have you come across this sort of ignorance in busienss? Did you consider it unethical for them to charge for knowledge they didn’t actually  have?

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