Can You, Could You, Should You?
When I was younger my family went out to dinner at least once a month. Not really fast food, but not really fine dining either. One thing that always intrigued me growing up was seeing the lobster on the menu. It was never priced like the other choices. It said, “Market Price”. I should first mention I have never had lobster, for that matter I have never had crab legs.
My foray into seafood growing up was McDonald’s filet-O-fish and a lot of fish sticks, (with tater tots mind you). Later as I got older I can and would feast on shrimp of all styles and forms.
The reason I bring up market price is because it is a traditional time tested way to manipulate the market at will. If there was ever a market that required price manipulation today it is ground transportation.
In between the time an order is booked and completed. A provider’s insurance, fuel costs and driver census can dramatically shift. This phenomenon provides two distinct challenges. Firstly, can one surcharge after the fact, can one book orders with an asterisk in case?
The second challenge is when do surcharges end. I have seen where some simply absorb into the price and stop calling it a surcharge.
History has shown many things cannot be returned. Unused gift certificates, compliments, insults and kinda, sorta, surcharges.
One of my fears has also been what if two clients discover they are serviced similarly, but charged differently. I never knew how the airlines pulled that off. The plane is carrying 148 people with 46 different price structures. Then they arrive at their hotels. Don’t even get me started on that one. Captain Obvious already tried to explain that one.
The supply demand dynamic currently in our favor is new to us. A part of it is certainly need, and certainly a part is greed. I don’t expect the consumer base to know what everyone went through. I don’t even frankly expect them to show mercy or care. The consumer wants to consume and be serviced period. The industry on the other hand has a lot of time, energy, passion, and money to recoup so I believe various forms of creative pricing is acceptable.
I am sure in due time things will level off and stabilize but currently all is fair in love and war.
Do what you must do to become whole again.
And in the immortal words of my favorite mechanic:
If they appear pleasantly surprised, tell them parts are not included.”