So I've started noticing a lot more businesses trying to pull a fast one over me in particularly unclassy ways, and it made me wonder how various people reacted to such practices.
1. Post Office. I just got back from the Post Office, where I asked the lady for "the cheapest envelope, please", so I could mail a book. Having gone through this bullshit numerous times, I tried my best to act surprised when she came back with a padded envelope, which is not the cheapest envelope. I pointed this out to her and she got pretty huffy at me. Look, you may have your reasons for preferring a padded envelope, but when I ask for the cheapest envelope I expect to be brought the cheapest envelope, or at worst, both envelopes and a lengthy explanation about why I should choose
the padded one.
2. Coffee shop in Penn Station. "I'd like a medium coffee". "Sure, sir. Would you like that mild or strong?" "I'd like that stro-- hey wait a minute. No, I fell for this scam before. I'll take mild." Scam? That's a fighting word I'm throwing out there. What warrants such tough vocabulary? Well, "mild" is the coffee that's on their menu with the price on the menu. "Strong" is them adding a shot of espresso and charging you extra for it. No one seems to remember mentioning to you that it costs extra, or that every other coffee place in Penn Station has a variety of coffees and asking for a "strong" one is just asking for a different variety of coffee, not asking to pay more money.
There's tons more deceptive business practices along these lines, but I've gotten my point across. So what's your reaction to these? I imagine there's a full spectrum of possibilities.
1. In favor: Fuck yeah, this is the American way. Make a buck anyway you can. I'd do the same and I love seeing the ingenious ways that the free market manifests itself. Best of all, I'm on the right side! I've got the insider knowledge! I know to ask for envelopes twice and to order mild coffee, and as a result of you not knowing it, you pay more and the savings come back to me! It's awesome.
2. Analytical: I'm not in favor of this sort of thing, but I'm not some bitch whose going to get all emotional about it. If the mild coffee at this place is cheaper than the other places, and now that I've been burned once I know it won't happen again, then I might as well keep buying the coffee here. It was lame of them, but am I really going to go out of my way or spend extra money to spite them? That's childish.
3. Risk Analysis: I'm not in favor of this sort of thing, and I think it establishes that this is a risky enough venture that it's not worth continuing here just to save 4 cents on coffee. What do I do when I want a muffin? Do I sit there weighing the pros and cons of being ripped off since I've never tried that? No, fuck that. I just go to a place where I don't have to take into account the owner's evil
into my purchase considerations. We all have to be cautious in life but I don't find much benefit to intentionally putting myself in situations where I'm looking over my shoulders and calculating ways I could be ripped off at every opportunity.
4. Against: This was a totally dick move and a violation of trust and I will not stand for it. I don't care if your coffee is 4 cents cheaper than the place next door, I'm going there because fuck you
. I'm not going to come back and ask for more service when you openly try to con me (unless you're the Post Office since you have a fucking monopoly).
I imagine there's various gradations in between these as well. I fall under category 3-4. Intellectually, I don't think it's worth the risk to put myself in undependable situations. Emotionally, I want to slap the bitch around who really thought "I've got a great scam, but since I'm incorporating it into a successful business it's actually an innovative business solution
, not a scam".
How about you? What's your take on these situations?