Recently, I read a blog via Ping.sg about the ridiculous pricing strategies of 7-11. I promptly commented and found some flaws in the person’s arguments, and I thought it is ridiculous that he bought the drink at his supposed ridiculous price, and then seek an explanation, as well as think he deserves some explanation.
The thing is, in another post, he actually called me ignorant. I find it funny that he actually bothered to attack me from another post when he could have just not mentioned me at all. I mean, there was really no need to bring it up unless he was feeling sore about it and that he needed some “revenge”. It isn’t the first time someone called me ignorant on the blogosphere. Typically, these people just call me ignorant due to my nick, but I just find it rather unoriginal. I mean, there are much more words in the English Dictionary that one can use.
For example, I feel that a better word could be pushy. I admit, I was rather pushy in trying to argue my stand and show flaws in his argument. But I’m definitely not ignorant in this matter. I must say though, there were times I am really ignorant, and after someone pointed out something to me, I thank them and move on. Hey, we all make mistakes, we learn and then it’s something new in our brains! I find it best if we all can correct each other’s mistakes.
However, someone felt that he was high and mighty and probably should be treated like king. But seriously, I think the “Customer is King” mantra is much too abused. The Customer is King, but he does not have absolute power. In a way, I feel that customers should have some responsibility to the community. If there is a service error or lapse or that there have been rude staff, for example, the the customer has the right to make a formal complaint, and he has a right to demand a satisfactory explanation. However in certain cases, people all around the world think that since they are customers, they have all the right to demand explanations, as if they are in the right all the time.
Have you met such people?
The whole story about 7-11 is that this young and thirsty boy went into 7-11 wanting to buy a drink to quench his thirst. He took the bottle of green tea and went to the cashier, only to be told that its $2 for one bottle, but $2.30 for two bottles. He thinks its ridiculous. But nonetheless, he paid for two bottles, took the receipt, and went to make a formal complaint, and he now demands an explanation.
I think he is being ridiculous, and I am can support my accusation perfectly well.
Firstly, such pricing strategies are not uncommon in the world we live in today. We have seen companies selling things in packs. They try to bundle different products together to sell. In fact, it’s kind of like the buy 2 get 1 free policy. The aim is to make consumers buy that 1 more to qualify for that free product. Even toothbrushes are bundled in fours, and are sold as buy 3 get 1 free. There’s really nothing wrong. In fact, the aim of selling it at $0.30 more is so that you’ll be more inclined to purchase the second bottle, since according to our logic it would be “more worth”. I put it in “” because I feel that its based on personal ideas and values. Our values system are different, and some people may feel that it is worth the money and some may not. But whatever it is, more often than not we will think that it’s better to have the second bottle. Or look at the shop downstairs which sell their bread at $0.30 cheaper at night from 8-10pm. Are they being ridiculous? No. They are selling off excess inventory because anything not sold by 10pm (when they close) would be a loss since there is no money earned. It’s like econs, where in the short run, as long as you can cover the variable costs, then it makes sense to stay in business although you are making a loss. Hence even if they make a loss on their breads, it makes sense to sell them at a cheaper price, considering they will earn a sum of money compared to not at all.
All these policies are business and economic policies which are perfectly sound and not ridiculous. The aim is to make the consumer buy the product. That is always the aim of business owners. To sell.
Secondly, 7-11 is not being unreasonable, nor were their staff rude. The staff may not know anything about 7-11 pricing strategies, since they are low level staff, and they are probably not as well educated. I mean, if you have studied economics or business, you are more probably not going to work in 7-11, unless you are strapped for cash. I don’t see any need for a complaint. I don’t recall any thing along the lines of the service staff forcing the blogger in question to purchase the drinks. Since the customer obviously purchased the items on his own free will, then what right does he have to demand an explanation for “ridiculous” pricing? Obviously, if one finds the pricing ridiculous, he would not have contemplated buying the item. Excuses like carrying a lot of things, or lazy to walk back to change are merely excuses. If you feel so strongly against the pricing that you actually blogged about it and made a formal complain demanding explanations, then I guess you should also feel strong enough to say “In that case, never mind, I’ll get something else”. I knew I would, especially if it’s going to break my budget.
Thirdly and lastly (I know you all are tired), there are alternatives in the store. In fact, if a pricing strategy offends me, and I feel that pricing is an important consideration, I’ll change the drink. Look at the drink in question. It’s green tea. It’s probably more of a luxury then a necessity, in economic terms. I am sure there are cheaper alternatives, like mineral water. I know Carrefour sells Ice Mountain rather cheaply, less than a dollar. There are lousier brands at 40 cents. Although this is not Carrefour, but I believe there are alternatives, cheaper ones in fact, in 7-11. I know even H20 is at $1.50. A bottle of plain water should be cheaper right? Furthermore, if pricing was such an important consideration, then other considerations like green tea is healthier should then be of a lower priority isn’t it? But if it isn’t, then pricing is obviously not that important.
In conclusion, the above shows why I feel the post is ridiculous. Now, if you feel I am wrong, or I am ignorant, do let me know, and please substantiate it with something so I can learn from it. I don’t profess to have all the knowledge required in discussing this subject, that is why I am Ignorantsoup and not WiseSoup. Let us just all learn from each other. Perhaps there’s an economics major here who can explain in greater detail and prove me wrong? I don’t know, but at least I hope I’m not being ridiculous.