Procedure For Filing And Processing Ethics Complaints

The Complaint Procedure has been developed to provide an orderly and interactive process for resolving complaints alleging violations of the Tradeloop Code of Business Practices and Ethics. The page explains how complaints will be filed and processed by the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee consists of volunteer Wholesale Members of Tradeloop. The Committee does not render awards of monetary damages.

Note: If you believe the Tradeloop community needs immediate notification about someone who may being attempting to defraud members, please use our Fast Track Fraud Alert.

Blog-based Dispute Resolution

Tradeloop is a pioneer in our industry for utilizing a blog-based method for dispute resolution. Blog-based dispute resolution means that all interactions between the Complainant, the Defendant and the Members of the Ethics Committee will occur interactively online.

Each party to the dispute will have the opportunity to upload relevant information, documents or photos necessary for resolving the issues. This provides the Members of the Ethics Committee with quick access to all of the relevant information and also gives them an opportunity to post questions or ask the parties for clarification if needed.

Blog-based dispute resolution also makes the dispute resolution process more transparent for Tradeloop Members by allowing all parties to the dispute to post and share information. The result is a more collaborative and friendly process with fairer and more efficient solutions to disputes between Members.

Tradeloop's Liability

Tradeloop, as a provider of an 'interactive computer service' is immune from liability for any information posted. Only the "speaker" of the information shall be held liable for what they say. Pursuant to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Tradeloop users bear all liability for information they post to Tradeloop. However Tradeloop does have the right to correct, edit, remove, block and screen content without being considered a publisher or speaker.

  1. FILING A COMPLAINT.

    1. Against Members.

      Members may file complaints against other Members of Tradeloop. By filing a complaint, a member agrees to be bound by the Code, follow the Complaint Procedure and participate in all proceedings hereunder.

    2. Against Non-Members.

      Non-Member complaints result in a complaint blog being created and attached to the non-member account. This blog is unmoderated and neither Tradeloop nor the Ethics Committee are under any obligation to act on the complaint in any way.

      The non-member defendant will be unable to access Tradeloop until a response has been provided to the complaint.

      Tradeloop does not have jurisdiction over non-members. However, if a non-member is willing to abide by the Code and participate in these proceedings, the Ethics Committee, at its discretion, may process the complaint.

      If the Committee does not hear the complaint, the non-member flag stays posted to the account and the non-member cannot apply for membership until the flag is addressed.

      If a non-member does not respond at all, he is automatically banned from the site without a hearing.

      If a non-member wants the flag removed they need to either ask the complainant to remove the flag, or petition the committee to hear the case. The chair/vice-chair has the option to hear the case, which may result in the non-member being completely banned from any access to Tradeloop.

    3. About Collections of Funds

      Tradeloop and the Ethics Committee will warn Members of problems with non-payment, but will not act as a collection agency. Your company must have shown due diligence in pursuing the debt, and must have written off the debt as uncollectable per generally accepted accounting procedures, before Tradeloop will pursue the case. At a minimum, to pursue your case, Tradeloop will require:

      1. The length of time the fee was receivable
      2. Documentation of internal attempts to collect the funds
      3. The name and contact information for the collection agency used to attempt to collect the funds (will be kept confidential)
      4. A statement from an accountant or Corporate Officer stating the amount and date the funds were written off as uncollectable
  2. COMPLAINT PROCEDURE.

    Step 1: Submit an Online Complaint Form

    1. All complaints must be made by filling out and submitting the online Ethics Complaint Form

    2. The complaint must include the following: (a) a brief summary of the facts; (b) the party against whom the complaint is filed; (c) the specific Articles of the Code alleged to have been violated; and (d) the act that constitutes the alleged violation. Hyperlinks to copies of all relevant supporting documents must be submitted with the complaint.
      • Please note: Tradeloop will not help a complainant or a defendant prepare their case. We cannot accept physical or faxed documents. These need to be collated, scanned, and posted online by the case participants. All case-related information MUST be posted to the Blog or the committee will not see it. Please do not email or mail any information to Tradeloop or to Members of the Ethics Committee.



    Step 2: Ethics Committee Procedures and Posting to the Case Blog

    1. Member Complaint: Processing and Service of Complaint and Response
      1. Upon receipt of the completed Complaint, the Ethics Committee will process the Complaint, ask the complainant for any necessary clarifications, and then send a copy of the Complaint via email to the named defendant seeking a response.
      2. The defendant has seven (7) business days to respond by posting any relevant information to the case blog (a link is provided). A copy of the defendant's response is automatically emailed to the complainant.
      3. The defendant and complainant may then communicate for a period of time via the case blog in an attempt to amicably resolve their differences, adding relevant information as they go.
      4. The Ethics Committee can see all posts to the case blog and will comment as necessary. All communication must occur via the case blog. The Ethics Committee will not read or respond to information emailed directly, nor will they respond to phone calls. Direct communication to the Committee regarding pending disputes is considered, in itself, a violation of the Code of Ethics.
      5. If the parties cannot resolve their differences and all relevant information has been uploaded to the case blog, the case will “go into Committee” for a vote.
      6. If the defendant does not respond to the complaint within seven (7) business days, it will be found that the defendant has chosen to not dispute the complaint and the complaint will be posted online to Tradeloop Members.

    2. Non-Member Complaint: Processing and Service of Complaint and Response
      1. If the defendant is a non-member then the complaint will start a blog which will be attached to the non-member account, not be moderated and posted within 24 hrs, until the complainant removes it or the Ethics Committee chooses to hear the case then remove it.
      2. Any user of Tradeloop is welcome to post to the blog however neither Tradeloop nor the Ethics Committee is under no obligation to hear the case nor act on it.
      3. The defendant and complainant may then communicate for a period of time via the case blog in an attempt to amicably resolve their differences, adding relevant information as they go.
      4. The Ethics Committee can see all posts to the case blog and will comment as necessary. All communication must occur via the case blog. The Ethics Committee will not read or respond to information emailed directly, nor will they respond to phone calls. Direct communication to the Committee regarding pending disputes is considered, in itself, a violation of the Code of Ethics.



    Step 3: Sanctions

    1. The Committee can issue one of four sanctions:
      1. Take no action.
        Tradeloop takes no action against the defendant at this time. However, the case remains on file for the Ethics Committee.
      2. Send a private written warning to the defendant.
        Tradeloop sends a written warning to the defendant letting them know they are in violation of Tradeloop's Ethics Code policy.
      3. Post and Broadcast the complaint to the Tradeloop community.
        Tradeloop sends a written warning to the defendant, the complaint then gets posted to the defendant's profile page, posted on the Posted Ethics Cases page, and also Broadcast.
      4. Post and Broadcast the complaint, and Ban the defendant from Tradeloop.
        Tradeloop sends a written warning to the defendant, the complaint then gets posted to the defendant's profile page, posted on the Posted Ethics Cases page, Broadcast, and the defendant is Banned from Tradeloop.

    2. Banning Period:
      The default banning period is 3 years. On a case by case basis the Ethics Committee can set a different period of between 1 year to life.

    3. Re-Admittance:
      At the end of the banned period the company is eligible to re-apply to Tradeloop, subject to standard approvals. If they choose to re-apply, both the original complainant and Committee will be offered an opportunity to voice objections. Any objection to re-entry will result in a re-vote.

    4. Case History:
      The case will remain on the companies as a posted violation, regardless of a re-admittance.


  3. WITHDRAWAL.

    1. Member Complaint In the event a party attempts to withdraw its complaint or the parties agree to dismiss the complaint, the Ethics Committee reserves the right to take further action on the complaint. Once a complaint has been heard, settlements made between the parties will not alter the Ethics Committee's findings.
    2. Non-Member Complaint A complainant may remove his complaint against a non-member provided an explanation is provided and there are no objections by the Ethics Committee.


  4. THREE COMPLAINTS AGAINST A COMPANY OR MEMBER.

    1. In the event three complaints resulting in Sanctions have been filed against a party within any twelve-month period, Tradeloop shall review and, if appropriate, notify the Membership of the following:
      1. The names of the parties to each complaint;
      2. The date of filing of each complaint; and
      3. The outcome of each complaint.


  5. RESPONSES TO INQUIRIES.

    1. Matters of the Ethics Committee are and will remain private and confidential, except in the issuance of a complaint.
    2. Matters involving posting of a Complaint are available to the Tradeloop Wholesale Community.
    3. A copy of the notice sent to the Membership regarding three complaints against one company, pursuant to Paragraph V, shall be furnished in response to any inquiry about such company for the twelve months following the notice regarding the three complaints filed.


  6. REVERSING A CASE AND RIGHT TO APPEAL

    Any case decision can be reversed at any time, provided:

    1. Good cause posted to the case blog.
    2. The unanimous written consent of the Ethics Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Tradeloop Management
    3. No objections from the Committee Members

    An objection by a Committee Member would automatically trigger a re-vote. The re-vote would take into account any new evidence and discussion brought forward.

    Right to Appeal: Every defendant found in violation of the Code of Ethics has the right to appeal a case at any time, however the appeal will only be heard with the written and unanimous consent of the Ethics Chairman, Vice Chairman and Tradeloop Management.


  7. COMMITTEE AND CHAIRMANSHIP

    1. The Ethics Committee will consist of no more than 15 members.
      • Best efforts will be made to ensure maximum diversity of the committee in terms of geography, business type, and product affiliation.
      • New applicants to the committee will be put on a waiting list.

    2. Requirements for being a Committee Member
      • Your company must have been a Wholesale Member on Tradeloop for over a year.
      • Your company cannot have any posted complaints against it.
      • You must agree to maintain the confidentiality of ethics cases.
      • Ethics Committee members must vote on all cases within 7 days of posting the Complaint and Response to the Committee. A Committee member will be considered "inactive" if he or she fails to vote on 3 cases over a 12 month period. Inactive members will be asked to step down so a new volunteer will be invited to join the Committee.

    3. Ethics Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

      1. Eligibility and Process

        • The Chair and Vice-Chair positions will run for one year from January 1 to Dec 31.
        • The Vice-Chair becomes the Chairman in their second year.
        • The incoming Vice Chairman must have been on the Ethics Committee for at least one year.
        • Volunteers will be solicited yearly. If there is more than once volunteer a vote will be held.
        • Best efforts will be made to ensure for the purposes of diversity that the Chair and the Vice Chair are in separate geographies and deal primarily in different products or lines of business.


      2. Primary Responsibilities

        • Help ensure a fair and accurate vote is held by all Committee members.
        • Help ensure complainant & defendant follow the process.
        • Decide on reversals, when to hear an appeals and make the decisions to reject or dismiss a case if needed.
        • Ratify major changes to the Code of Ethics.

File a Complaint

last updated: 1/7/2011

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