When we apply the nine point scale to ethics, we see that upselling is less than neutral. At neutrality, fairness both ways is the hallmark. Upselling makes the consumer a mark, the dispenser a abuser. It makes a slave of the consumer, and the dispenser get more than he should, becoming the abuse. Both the employee and the company become unethical.This can be considered a 3 or 4 on the ethical scale, with 5 being neutral, a 1 being evil, and 9 the sage. Honest and fair dealings should be the law of the land, the ethical standard.
So the telecommunication giants, like Bell have a problem, once we apply a definition of ethical to their actions. Equality, justice, is the foundation of ethics. An impartial judge is necessary, but a definition to test against is also essential. Religions fail to provide a clear definition. Christianity provides a do unto others as you would they do unto you, but no test for fairness. Upselling depends on the unawareness of sucker, the greed of the individual, and the company doing the upselling. It is still usury, and that is lower than neutral ethics, but not illegal... yet.
Upselling is just down the road from selling products that do not work, or concepts that do not work. Catholics sold the belief that for a bit of money, you could buy your way into heaven. Most of the time it was give, give more, but is this event ethical. With the fairness test, and the lack of evidence that there is an afterlife, even the churches, all religions are likely unethical. We cannot prove it so, I cannot say unethical, but I feel that they are unethical by modern standards. It all comes down to what is the test of ethical neutral?
If I consider the test to be political equality, and sit back to consider the hypothetical situation, as the statin medical question, where the doctors are assumed to have more knowledge, and therefore their opinion is worth more, but do they. When we realize that seniors have a suicide rate approaching 1 percent, off statins and near 3 percent on statins. These numbers are from a Cochrane meta study review. The drug companies subtract the suicide deaths off before the analysis, because suicides have nothing to do with the study. Bull shit!! They are the only subjective number there is for quality of life. That says the quality of life goes down on statins. After that, there is only a slight advantage to be on statins, about three days longer life, if you tolerate them. One third to one half drop out of the study, which also says something. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway. Well, what does this have to do with ethics?
The medical community is fanning great knowledge, to sell statins, but the benefit is not great until they slope the study. This is using hidden knowledge, which may not actually exist, to slope the playing field toward their side, which if we use the test of political equality, is less than neutral ethically. Once again we have the Andrew Wakefield situation. He found the problem, and pushed until the drug companies reacted, and they slaughtered him, not that he was wrong, but he did do some foolish things. Oh well, in the end we just die anyway.