Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Hotel Pricing Joke

A subscriber to my newsletter (thank you Jj) recently emailed me the following hotel pricing -related joke.


A husband and wife are traveling by car from Melbourne to Sydney. After almost twenty-four hours on the road, they're too tired to continue, and they decide to stop for a rest. They stop at a nice hotel and take a room, but they only plan to sleep for four hours and then get back on the road.

When they check out four hours later, the desk clerk hands them a bill for $350. The man explodes and demands to know why the charge is so high. He tells the clerk that although it's a nice hotel, the rooms certainly aren't worth $350. When the clerk tells him $350 is the standard rate, the man insists on speaking to the manager.

The manager listens to the man and then explains the hotel has an Olympic-size pool and a huge health club that were available for the husband and wife to use. He also explains they could have used the tennis courts, jogging track, mini-golf, and bowling alley.

No matter what facility the manager mentions, the man replies, "But we didn't use it!" The manager is unmoved and eventually the man gives up and agrees to pay. He writes a cheque and gives it to the manager. The manager is surprised when he looks at the check.

"But sir," he says, "this check is only made out for $100."

"That's right," says the man, "I charged you $250 for sleeping with my wife."

"But I didn't!" exclaims the manager.

"Well," the man replies, "she was here, and you could have."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

You Read it First Here

Readers of this blog may recall that back on the 25th October last year I commented on the launch of (General Motors) Holden “Employee Pricing for All".

In that posting, I said that

"According to my sources, GMH employees get discounts of between 10% and 20% depending on their length of service. By my calculations, some of the vehicles on offer are at the lower end of that range"

Well, yesterday, this was confirmed. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that:

“…retail customers had in fact paid about $4,700 more for some models with air conditioning than employees of GH Holden”

…And that…

“…employees were offered a further discount of between 25% and 29%, which was not available to the public”

So what’s the stick? GMH have undertaken to write to people (estimated to be between 250 - 300) who purchased…

“VZ Commodores and WL Statesman & Caprices between 21st October and 9th November, offering them a full refund if they want to return the vehicle”

Sources: Porter, I (2006) “Holden forced to refund on ‘employee pricing that wasn’t” in The Age, 20th April 2006, p5

And special thanks also to “my source” - you know who you are
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Did you get away over Easter

Here's The Bulletin's estimate (18th April 2006, p15) of how much it would have cost to fill up certain types of vehicles over the Easter long weekend. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 07, 2006

Innovation in Hidden Charges - The Sequel

Not surprisingly, it appears that every major metro newspaper in Australia, bar two, picked up on yesterday's story about banks charging fees for incorrectly entered PIN numbers at ATMs.

The Auststralian Bankers Association are now saying that no banks charge such fees, although The Age newspaper reports today (Business section, p2) that "some credit unions charge the fees, but at variable rates".

It seems that the information on these fees was supplied to the Australian Consumers Association by a research house, and all four of the major banks say "...there were errors in the information they had given..."

Wasn't the 1st of April last week?

Innovation in Hidden Charges

The following article appeared in The Australian Financial Review today (7th April 2006, p80):

"Banks are charging up to $2 for cancelled EFTPOS and ATM transactions and are even billing conusmers if they put in the wrong PIN, the Australian Consumers Association said yesterday.

Senior finance policy office Nick Coates said the charge represented a new low. "It illustrates the upward creep of retail banking fees and a creative development in the innoviation of hidden charges" he says in an upcoming issue of Consuming Interest.

No comment.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Regional Pricing

At a networking function earlier this week, I was telling someone about my love of maps.

Combine that with my love of pricing, and you end up saving useless press clippings like the one opposite (I hope its readable).

The graph was published in a magazine that used to the come the Weekend Financial Times, and shows how the price of a pint of Guinness varies around the world.

If you can't read it, just beware: South Africa is a much cheaper place than South Korea to enjoy a few pints of Guinness.

Hic! Posted by Picasa