The Entertainment Services and Technology Association's board of directors has voted unanimously to open up ESTA's code of conduct to allow complaints to be filed by the general public effective January 1, 2003.
In 1999, ESTA led the industry in promoting ethical business practices and professionalism by creating and adopting a code of conduct for members. Received with enthusiasm, the code was also used as a model by several other industry associations, including PLASA and CITT, in creating their own codes.
ESTA's code of conduct plays an important role in maintaining public confidence in the entertainment technology industry by assuring uniformly high standards in its dealings with members of the association. As one member of the public said, “ESTA membership does matter to many of us and we use it as a recommendation when looking for a reliable vendor.” This change to the code of conduct ensures that the public has a way to be heard if they feel they aren't being dealt with in an ethical manner by an ESTA member.
The ESTA code of conduct is available on the ESTA website, www.esta.org. Also available is the procedure for filing and processing complaints. This gives detailed information on how a complaint may be filed, the review process, how the hearing process works, and what level of sanctions might be imposed. Filing a complaint is not a trivial matter — it requires considerable effort, as well as substantial documentation of the offense.
ESTA encourages people to discuss potential complaints, prior to filing, with the chair of the ethics committee, Erik Magnuson (404-872-0553), or ESTA's executive director, Lori Rubinstein (212-244-1505). Upon learning the nature of the complaint they will help to determine if a potential violation of the code of conduct has occurred, indicate whether the problem should be heard in a court of law, attempt to resolve the problem before a formal complaint is filed, and assist in understanding and complying with the complaint procedure.