One thing I hate is abusive pricing. Movie theaters charging $4.75 for .15 worth of Diet Coke, New York restaurants that charge $4 for an iced tea without free refills, hotels charging $8 for a tiny pot of coffee and charging you $7 to bring it to your room–you get the idea.
One of the things I love about Los Angeles when compared to New York City is that the people in Los Angeles won’t take abusive pricing. If you tried to charge people for a second, third, or even 10th iced tea they would read you the riot act. In New York City people are afraid to look cheap so they never say anything.
My belief is that the reason people get away with this kind of pricing is because people are not willing to say something. I think that people do predatory pricing because they can get away with it–when confronted they will stop, or at least be forced to explain themselves.
Today when I left the W Hotel in New York I hit the coffee bar in the lobby for an eight ounce cup of coffee. I thought they gave this for free to their customers (paying $400 a night), but they don’t. So, I went to pay for my eight ounces and the women told me $2.80 to which I told her “really?!” She said yes, I said “that’s abusive. That’s $1.30 more than Starbucks!” If you coffee is twice the price of Starbucks–the kings of abusive pricing–you’re really abusing people.
I left the coffee at the counter–after I had put in milk and sugar–in disgust. Come on W Hotel… be NICE to your customers, don’t abuse them.
What’s the most abusive pricing you’ve seen lately?
Consumerist should start an “abusive pricing” category to shame these people.