Last post on Jul 19, 2003 at 6:27 PM
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Jul 18, 2003 (11:27 am)
ballistic---I should have posed my question a bit differently.
If you ate in a fancy restaurant and they presented you with an additional "napkin fee" how would you FEEL about that, even IF you knew the charge was totally righteous? "Zee bill, monsieur, iz $190 for you and zee lovely lady...and...oh...zoot alors!...I am forgetting zee napkin charge for .15 cents!"
My "problem" is the complete "cheesiness" of the gesture. I feel it breeds suspicion in the customer who, regrettably, is alreadya bit too suspicious of car dealerships. E.G.===>
4 new hi performance tires = $1,000
60,000 mile service = $585
rag fee = $1.35
I just don't think business practices like this help customer relations at all. It seems awkward and unprofessional...the rags I mean.
EPA, etc might be a different matter -- not that I think EPA type charges should show, either, but at least the customer feels better about paying an EPA charge than a "rag" fee, seems to me.
Anyone share this attitude with me?
#32 of 40 it all goes back to lawyers, I suspect
Jul 18, 2003 (12:05 pm)
somebody probably got backed into a corner by SuperActionNewsHometownEyewitnessTeam 83, and their lawyer said to break out the disposeables fee, and it got to the regional service meeting roundtable, and there 'y' go.
the safe thing to do when presented with the existence of lawyers is to document everything. but I do have some problems with the metal tags pop-riveted to the sidewalls of my tires saying "do not puncture"...
Jul 18, 2003 (12:47 pm)
just because it is friday afternoon and not much else on my plate i'll throw in my 2 cents. in my business, containerized ocean freight, extra surcharges are common. some customers like them, some hate them and only want a bottom line figure. Businesses will always use surcharges to their advantage and once implemented and relatively accepted within a particular market, they NEVER seem to go away - even if the actual 'cost' associated behind the surcharge reduces. A business will happily just keep charging & collecting so long as no one challenges them on it or it doesn't become a competitive factor to gaining business. The charge often becomes a revenue or (and if they can control costs better) a profit maker. For example, we now charge a US Port Security charge in the C.America/Caribe to/from USA trades. post 9/11 sure there have been security improvements to some us seaports but those costs are not constant however the charge is. now presumably the future will also probably
dictate the need for more cost/expenses on security infrastructure especially as newer & more demanding legislation is passed in these areas but in the meantime - do you think my company is going to say out of their own good graces. "mr customer, i know we had to pass on the xtra expenses incurred for security upgrades via this surcharge however now that we installed all the xtra lighting & fencing and other things and our expenses are no longer very high - i am now removing the previously instated surcharge" NOT!!! ok - i'm rambling but bottom line on the line item charges - once instated - rarely removed. oh yeah, and in reference to the grocery list - that pint of ben & jerry's i bought at the store, although showing on my list for 3.99 - that 3.99 is not broken down into old B&J's actual costs of raw materials, manufacture, packaging, lighting, rent, transportation, storage, advertising, etc etc of all the things it takes to get B&J to the shelf for me to buy - it just says 3.99 - everyone ideally is getting their cut & covering their expenses and making profit along the way. if not, then i couldn't buy that pint for 3.99. ok, i'll be quiet now - ken
Jul 18, 2003 (12:52 pm)
I've pretty agreed with most of your posts to date. Here, however, I think you've gone off the deep end.
Jul 18, 2003 (1:42 pm)
Shifty says, ""Zee bill, monsieur, iz $190 for you and zee lovely lady...and...oh...zoot alors!...I am forgetting zee napkin charge for .15 cents!"
If my wife found out I had a $190 dinner with a lovely lady, I'd have a much bigger problem than the extra 15-cents...
#36 of 40 one thing about these as tack-on charges
Jul 18, 2003 (3:05 pm)
every time some little silly requirement comes out... provide customers rubber boots when they go to the john, fuel surcharges, per-stop inspection service fees that pay for the city inspectors, and all the myriad nonsense and folderol that flies over the transom or crawls up the sewer in trying to run a business... you don't have to reprogram the computer and repaint the "10 most common" pricing sign, you can just add the latest nonsense as a line item.
Jul 18, 2003 (7:18 pm)
Since this subject was brought up, I had asked several shop owners about what charges they add.
A few said that they added the EPA(environmental) charge and a shop supplies charge or combined those two charges. Some had tried to itemize the shop charges for folks, but met with some staunch critisism and reverted back to the shop supplies charge.
Now they ALL say that there is a big sign in most their shops about standard charges and that they go over those standard charges with the customer before they start, which they say is the key to not having an unhappy customer.
So when you go through the grocery checkout, you'd rather the 50-cent cost of the rags you're buying (paper towels) be buried - along with the rest of the 'detail' - into a single bottom-line charge? Grocery stores have ALWAYS provided every single detail of what you're purchasing, down to the last penny. I've been on this planet for 59 years, and I've never heard even one single complaint about that.
That is interesting, because some years back, a certain major grocery store started charging 5 cents per large paper bag unannounced and there was far more than a single complaint on that one.
They then went to an announced 5 cents per bag, which still met with resistance and then finally to a deal where if you bring the paper bag back, they discount 5 cents per bag that they used your returned bag.
So, yes there has been the same type of thing in grocery stores and yes, it met with the same critisism.
#38 of 40 ballistic - Grocery vs. Auto
Jul 19, 2003 (8:40 am)
Actually, a grocery store receipt is NOT any more detailed than a car repair receipt. The grocery store simply lists the stores TOTAL cost of "parts" which includes the labor and related overhead to sell those "parts"; they don't include a breakdown of 5 cents for "clean up on aisle 5". An auto repair receipt also lists the TOTAL cost of the parts which includes the labor and overhead (yes, even the rag to clean up the leaking oil bottle) to sell the parts.
For installed parts, the auto repair receipt includes a labor element to install the parts. Grocery store "take out" food (sandwich, barbequed chicken, salad bar, etc.) equates to installing a collection of parts but they do not itemize the labor charge to prepare the food on your grocery bill, they simply roll it into the "parts" cost. If this same grocery store scenario would carry over to the auto repair business, you would simply have a bill that says water pump $300. But, an auto repair receipt does detail the parts and labor so it really says parts: water pump $95, gasket $5, labor to install water pump: $250.
Not trying to argue but, in my opinion, an auto repair bill is already more detailed than a grocery bill. Would you prefer that the grocery store A) itemize a take out sandwich: bread (2 slices 20 cents each), mayo (10 cents), ham (.20 lbs $5.59/lb.), lettuce (2 leaves 5 cents each), provolone cheese (2 1 oz. slices 10 cents each), sandwich wrap (1 5 cents), plastic gloves (2 cents), paper towel (1 cents), disinfectant (1 cents), etc, etc.or B) ham sandwich $4.50? I'd prefer B. Note, in my example A and B don't add up but you get the point. As other people have stated, the more detail you go into, I starts to look like nickel and dimeing.
Jul 19, 2003 (11:15 am)
There was a guy (prankster) who would put on a fake uniform and go up to tourists on the Golden Gate Bridge and tell them that if they were taking pictures of the bridge there was a .35 cent "photo fee". (He was recording this for a radio show).
When they protested, he would explain that the bridge was nicely painted, so that it would look good in their photos and that this was a "big job" and the tolls really didn't cover it.
Some went nuts on him but more than a few coughed it up once they heard the "logic" of it.
#40 of 40 gee, I couldn't get anybody to bite around here
Jul 19, 2003 (6:27 pm)
we have a big "T" for transit sign at bus stops in the twin cities. I have told several newcomers that means "taxes," and when government runs low, they send a bunch of folks out to the bench. if you see 'em there, you have to stop and give each one ten bucks, it's the law.
nobody bit. can't see how some nutcase with a headset on for WAKO radio can get it done.