CODE OF CONDUCT (FOR SELLERS)

What is the purpose of the Seller Code of Conduct?

To help Sellers understand the Code of Conduct expected on Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT)’s Parlour e-commerce platform (“Platform”). Capitalized Terms not otherwise defined herein shall have the same meaning as set forth in the Terms and Conditions of Use.

The Seller Code of Conduct applies to all Sellers operating on the Platform and it describes the activities that are prohibited in connection with the Seller’s use of the Platform.

What is the Code of Conduct?

The Seller Code of Conduct requires that Sellers act fairly and honestly on the Platform to ensure a safe buying and selling experience.

All Sellers shall:

  • Provide accurate information to TSTT and our Shoppers at all times.
  • Act fairly and not misuse the Platform’s features or services.
  • Not attempt to damage or abuse another Seller, their listings, or ratings.
  • Not attempt to influence Shoppers’ ratings, feedback, and reviews.
  • Not send unsolicited or inappropriate communications.
  • Not use threatening of abusive language, or attempts to intimidate the Platform’s staff, partners, agents, fellow Sellers, or Shoppers.
  • Not list stolen or illegal products in their online store.
  • Not include personal or political commentary that may be considered defamatory.
  • Fulfill an order for which payment is accepted.
  • Not contact Shoppers except through Seller-Shopper Messaging tools on the Platform (refer to section 4b).
  • Not attempt to circumvent the Platform’s sales process.
  • Not operate more than one account on the Platform without a legitimate business need.

Without prejudice to the Terms and Conditions of Use, violation of the Code of Conduct shall result in the termination of the Seller’s online store.

The above obligations are further detailed below.

  1. Accurate Information

Sellers shall at all times provide accurate information to TSTT and Shoppers and ensure that any changes to information are immediately updated.

  1. Acting Fairly

Sellers must act fairly and lawfully and shall not misuse the Platform or its services. Activities which are deemed to be unfair include but are not limited to the following:

  • Providing misleading or inappropriate information on the Platform or to our Shoppers, such as by creating different detail pages for the same product or posting offensive product images.
  • Manipulating sales rank (such as by accepting fake orders or orders paid for by Sellers) or making claims about sales rank in product titles or descriptions.
  • Attempting to increase the price of a product after an order is confirmed.
  • Artificially inflating web traffic (for example, using bots or paying for clicks).
  • Attempting to damage another Seller, their listings, or ratings
  • Allowing other people to act on a Seller’s behalf in a way which violates any Policies or a Seller’s agreement for use of the Platform.
  • Refusing to provide returns and refunds to Shoppers with legitimate claims in accordance with the Order and Customer Care Guidelines.
  • Knowingly selling defective products or misrepresenting products.
  1. Ratings, Feedback and Reviews

Refer to the Order and Customer Care Guidelines.

We strongly urge you to thoroughly review the Guidelines and immediately correct any violating actions.

Any infractions will result in enforcement actions even if it happened without your knowledge or consent.

Violations to the Guidelines include, but are not limited to these actions:

  • A Seller posts a review of their own product or their competitors’ products.
  • A Seller offers a third-party a financial reward, discount, free product, or other compensation in exchange for a review of their product or their competitors’ products. This includes using services that sell Shopper reviews, websites, or social media groups.
  • A Seller agrees to provide a refund or reimbursement after a Shopper writes a review (including reimbursement via a non- Platform payment method. This could be done via Shopper-Seller messaging on the Platform or directly contacting Shoppers or using third-party services, websites, or social media groups.
  • A Seller uses a third-party service that offers free or discounted products tied to a review.
  1. Communications

Sellers may communicate with Shoppers both directly and indirectly and are required to follow the guidelines below for any such communication with Shoppers.

All communications with Shoppers must be necessary for fulfilling an order or providing information on an order.

(a) Direct Communications

(i) Problem with Order Messages

The Seller must communicate with the Shopper if the Product ordered is not available to be shipped Such communication must be carried out by the Seller in the following manner:

  • Firstly, adjust the full order amount and use “No Inventory” or “Could Not Ship” as the reason codes for the adjustment.
  • Select “Problem with Order” to communicate with the Shopper about your inability to fulfil the order.
  • The message must contain a confirmation that the order amount was adjusted with the appropriate reason for the unavailability of the items.
  • If the Seller is able to fulfill the order, but the shipment will be delayed beyond the advertised availability, the Shopper must be notified about the delay.

(ii) Cancel Order Messages

  • If the Shopper decides to cancel the order, the refund process will be initiated by the Platform and the cancellation by the Shopper will be noted.
  • Shoppers can communicate with Sellers and with the Platform (via Platform shopper support portals) for updates on their cancelled order request.
  • Seller shall not contact the Shopper to request that they submit a cancellation request when they are out of stock.

(iii) Returns-Related Messages

Seller must process refunds for the order amount (minus any charges).

Sellers may communicate with the Shopper about returns only when additional information to complete the return is needed.

(b) Seller-Shopper Messages

Sellers may only send Permitted Messages to Shoppers who contact them about purchasing a product or who have previously purchased products from them.

Permitted Messages are those communications necessary to complete an order or to respond to a Shopper’s service inquiry.

Proactive Permitted Messages are those messages that a Seller initiates and are not responses to a Shopper’s question.

Sellers may send Proactive Permitted Messages for the following reasons.

  1. Resolving an issue with order fulfilment.
  2. Requesting additional information required to complete the order.
  3. Asking a return related question (refer to Returns-Related Messages) above
  4. Sending an invoice requesting product review or Seller feedback or both.
  5. Scheduling the delivery of heavy or bulky items.
  6. Verifying a Shopper’s design.
  7. Any other reason where the contact is required for the Shopper to receive the purchase.

All Proactive Permitted Messages must contain order ID.

Proactive Permitted Messages must be sent within thirty (30) days of order completion.

Proactive Permitted Messages do not include any of the following message types:

Order or shipping confirmation

  • Messages that say only “Thank You” or that you are here to help if Shoppers have any problems.
  • Marketing and promotional messaging, including coupons.
  • Language that either incentivizes or persuades the Shopper to submit positive product reviews or Seller feedback, including offering compensation, money, gift cards, free or discounted products, refunds, rebates or reimbursements or future benefits.
  • Language that requests product removal or an update of existing product reviews.
  • Language that requests a product review only if Shopper has had a positive experience with the product.
  • A repeat request (per order) for a product review or Seller feedback.

Proactive Permitted Messages should not include any of the following:

  • External links unless they are secure working links (https not http) necessary for order completeness or links to the Platform.
  • Attachments except for those needed to resolve a Shopper’s issue (for example, shipping labels, invoices, and custom designs).
  • Logos, if they contain or display a link to your website.
  • Links to opt out of messaging.
  • Sensitive content in images or texts (example bare skin, violence, or gore and adult or offence language).
  • Tracking pixels or images.
  • Email addresses.
  • Telephone numbers except those related to warranties, shipping providers or manufacturers.
  • Images of purchased products as these are included on your behalf.
  • Images that do not relate to your brand or company.
  • Accessibility issues from links without explanatory texts (for example, Click here for warranty information) or images or graphics with alt-text.
  • Emojis, including emoticons.
  • Animated GIFs
  • Message Margins of 20% maximum width.
  • Images or graphic sizes larger than 80%maximum width.
  • Fonts in more than three sizes.
  • Message bodies that are centered or that otherwise override default text alignment settings.
  • More than two line-breaks (spacing between paragraphs) in a row.
  • Unsecure images (http instead of https).

Message subject lines may be modified by the Platform in order to protect the Shopper experience in the online store.

 

(c) Indirect Communication

Order related information is communicated to Shoppers through Shopper account updates. These updates include information such as when an order has been shipped (with tracking number) or when a refund has been processed.

These updates are based on the following:

  • Shipping confirmation feed: this feed confirms the Seller has shipped the Shopper’s orders and provides order tracking information for the Shoppers.

Sellers are required to promptly confirm the shipment of all orders, either by using Manage Orders or by uploading a shipment confirmation feed. Once shipment is confirmed, an email confirmation is sent to the Shopper.

  • Order adjustment feed: this indicates that a refund was issued by the Seller. The Seller can also use “Manage Returns” to issue a refund.

Failure to comply with these Communication guidelines may result in the limiting of Proactive Permitted Messages. The Platform has the authority to block any message at its discretion.

 

What happens if the Seller does not follow the Code of Conduct?

By not following the Code of Conduct, the Seller compromises the experience of a Shopper on the Platform and subsequently negatively impacts their Seller Account Health.

Refer to the Seller Account Health in the Quality Assurance Guidelines.

 

  1. Shopper Information

Should Sellers receive Shopper information such as addresses or phone numbers to fulfill orders, Sellers may use that information only to fulfill orders and must delete it after the order has been processed. Sellers may not use Shopper information to contact Shoppers (except through Seller-Shopper messaging) or share it with any third-party. Seller’s obligations as it relates to the disclosure of information is also governed by the mandatory Privacy Notice.

 

  1. Circumventing the Sales Process

Sellers shall not attempt to circumvent the Platform sales process or divert Shoppers to another website or social media platform.  Sellers may not provide links or messages that prompt users to visit any external website or complete a transaction elsewhere.

 

  1. Multiple Selling Accounts

Sellers may only maintain one Seller account unless Sellers have a legitimate business need to open a second account and the Seller’s accounts are in good standing. If any of a Seller’s accounts are not in good standing, the Platform may deactivate all the Seller’s selling accounts until all accounts are in good standing.

Examples of a legitimate business justification include:

  • Seller owns multiple brands and maintain separate businesses for each.
  • Seller manufactures products for two distinct and separate companies.
  • Sellers recruited for specific Platform activities or initiatives that require separate accounts.

 

  1. Filing Infringement Notices as an Agent or Brand Protection Agency

TSTT understands that many brands may choose to have brand protection agencies or agents report intellectual property infringement on their behalf and accepts submissions from authorized agents.

However, TSTT does not permit individuals with active selling accounts to file infringement notices as an agent of a brand when the filing of those notices could benefit their own selling account (through removing competing listings, for example). Any Seller filing notices as an agent to benefit their own status as a Seller may have their selling account terminated.

 

  1. Product Images Standards

To ensure consistency image guidelines for Sellers have been developed. Sellers are required to adhere to the standards below in relation to the use of product and other images on the Platform.

  • Image Standards & Guidelines

 

Image Feature

Guideline

Image Size

1500 x 1500 px

Image Format

JPG, PNG, JPEG

Aspect Ratio

Square (1:1)

Image Types

Main Images (Front, Side & Top views)

Editorial Images (Product in use)

Detail Images (Close ups at various angles)

Number of Images

Minimum 4 images (Front, Side, Top)

Optional (editorial)

Image background

Pure white except for editorial images

Negative Space

Main product should occupy at least 80% of photo

Resolution

Between 150 and 300 dpi

File Size

5MB Maximum

Videos

Optional – Min length 15 seconds

Quality

Professional Lighting, realistic colours, no filters or enhancements. Photos must be in focus

Not permitted

Drawings, illustrations, and concept art cannot be used

Not permitted

The image must not contain gratuitous or confusing objects in addition to the product

Not permitted

The image must not contain additional text, images, and graphics

Not permitted

Offensive and pornographic materials must not be used

 

  1. Seller Supply Chain Standards

TSTT expects all products that are sold through the Seller’s online stores be manufactured or produced in accordance with specific supply chain standards.

These standards include a supplier code of conduct, which requires that products be manufactured in safe, healthy, and inclusive environments. Products which are made using forced, indentured, or child labour will not be allowed for sale on the Platform.

TSTT will evaluate credible allegations or reports of violations of these standards.

If it is suspected that a Seller’s product does not meet the supply chain standards, Sellers may be requested to demonstrate policies which align with such supply chain standards.

If a Seller supplies a product in violation of the law or any of the guidelines, including those produced in violation of the supply chain standards, corrective action including, but are not limited to, returning inventory at Seller’s expense if applicable, immediately suspending or terminating selling privileges, or terminating Seller agreement, will be taken.

 

  1. How does a Seller appeal a deactivated Seller account?

Seller performance on the Platform will be regularly reviewed and Sellers will receive notifications when they are off target. The intent of this review is to give Sellers the opportunity to improve their performance before the issue affects their ability to sell.

Occasionally, Seller Accounts with very poor performance are immediately deactivated.

Should a Seller’s selling account be deactivated, the Seller may be eligible for reinstatement. The Seller can appeal by providing a plan of action for correcting the problems that contributed to the enforcement action.

The Seller’s plan to justify a reinstated account should answer the following questions:

  • What was the root cause that led to the issue?
  • What actions will the Seller take to resolve the issue?
  • What steps will the Seller take to prevent future issues?

The Seller can use the following guidelines to create their plan of action:

  • Be clear and concise. The Seller’s plan of action should be factual and direct. The Seller should focus on the facts and events that lead to the issue rather than providing an introduction of their product, business, or Shopper. The Seller should remove other questions or references to ongoing support cases from their submission. Avoid using emotive language.
  • Provide an explanation for all issues. Some deactivations can be the result of a combination of issues (for example, a High Order Defect Rate can arise from negative feedback and undelivered orders). The Seller must provide a response for each root cause in their plan of action.
  • Include supporting evidence for all items. The Seller should ensure they submit supporting evidence for all of the products that are under review and also circle or highlight the area within the documents that are most relevant. They can find the list of products at the bottom of their original notification. The Seller should make sure to check the timeframe requested for the documents; some require invoices from the last 365 days.

Requests for reinstatement should be emailed to help@parlourcaribbean.com.

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