Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My wife told me a funny, yet not surprising, experience her colleague had with a local dry cleaner. Her colleague has used this dry cleaner for quite some time. Recently, she brought in a white dress to have some stains removed. After picking it up from the dry cleaner, she noticed that the stain still hadn't come out totally, so she asked the dry cleaner to clean it again. She mentioned that it is an expensive dress, so please be careful with it. Upon hearing this, the dry cleaner replied, "Oh, we charge an additional UAH 580 to clean expensive clothing." The woman was of course dumbstruck. To add insult to injury, the dry cleaner asked if the dress cost more than UAH 2,500. "What does the price of the dress have to do with anything?", the woman asked. The dry cleaner replied, "For clothing that cost more than UAH 2,500 we charge an additional 40% fee." Of course she said the dress cost less than this amount, but the woman "jokingly" asked if this was some kind of threat. The dry cleaner then said with a straight face the charge was basically an insurance fee (my paraphrase). If the woman didn't pay this fee the dry cleaner couldn't be responsible for damage to the dress.

Yep, this kind of practice is pretty common. In some cases, I'm sure it's just a way to squeeze more money out of people, but sometimes I honestly think people believe this is a legitimate pricing model. In the U.S., this