Pricing / Discounts / Costs / Rebates
Categories underneath Pricing / Discounts / Costs / Rebates:
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: May 02, 2013 Secret 'pocket listings' return in hot housing markets
QUOTE: In some cases, agents may try to convince sellers to use pocket listings in order to double their commissions by acting as agent for both the buyer and the seller...."If an agent is putting their own economic interest ahead of the seller's, it's a violation of state law."
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 31, 2013 Is A ‘Just Looking’ Fee A Smart Business Decision?
QUOTE: To complicate things even further for brick and mortars, the rise of smartphones has made it easy for consumers to walk into a store, browse the inventory, and comparison shop right from within. Stores risk losing customers to competitors before they’ve even left the store....As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”
WebProNews Mar 04, 2013 List Price = Joke Price: 4 Examples of How Original Prices Are Meaningless
QUOTE: ...JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson came clean about how the store’s original prices were fake prices cooked up mainly to make the inevitable markdowns seem more impressive and tempting to shoppers. The strategy is known as “price anchoring,” and it’s standard practice....While the new system sounded great to many consumer advocates, it proved to be a failure with shoppers...
Time Magazine Nov 30, 2012 Aid Changes Raise Issue of Diversity at Colleges
QUOTE: a number of prestigious smaller colleges are straining to meet students’ financial needs. To bridge the gap, some colleges have begun revising their financial aid formulas, raising concerns about how campus diversity — both economic and racial — might be affected.
New York Times Nov 29, 2012 Guardianship case in McLean illustrates lack of regulation for those caring for the elderly
QUOTE: raised questions among elder-care advocates and legislators about how a small number of paid guardians — both lawyers and non-lawyer professionals — are treating the aging and how states oversee the process.
Washington Post Aug 14, 2012 Factory owners: Federal prisoners stealing our business
QUOTE: Unicor is a government-run enterprise that employs over 13,000 inmates -- at wages as low as 23 cents an hour -- to make goods for the Pentagon and other federal agencies....If Unicor wants a contract, it gets it.
CNN/Money Magazine Jun 22, 2012 Getting Lost in the Labyrinth of Medical Bills
QUOTE: With the exception of Medicare and Medicaid, experts say, the amount paid for services — or the price your insurers pay — is based on the market power of the insurance company on the one side and the hospitals and providers on the other, and the reimbursement agreements they ultimately reach. So large insurers that command a lot of market power may be able to negotiate lower rates than smaller companies with less influence.
New York Times Mar 15, 2012 A Meter So Expensive, It Creates Parking Spots
QUOTE: ...San Francisco is trying to shorten the hunt with an ambitious experiment that aims to make sure that there is always at least one empty parking spot available on every block that has meters. The program, which uses new technology and the law of supply and demand, raises the price of parking on the city’s most crowded blocks and lowers it on its emptiest blocks....acknowledged that the program was “complicated on the social equity level.”
New York Times Mar 15, 2012 It's Not All About You: What Privacy Advocates Don't Get About Data Tracking on the Web
QUOTE: The privacy discourse frames the issue in an ego-centric manner, as a bargain between consumers and companies: the company will know x, y and z about me and in exchange I get free email, good recommendations, and a plethora of convenient services. But the bargain that we are making is a collective one, and the costs will be felt at a societal scale. When we think in terms of power, it is clear we are getting a raw deal: we grant private entities -- with no interest in the public good and no public accountability -- greater powers of persuasion than anyone has ever had before and in exchange we get free email.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Jan 27, 2012 Wanted: Banking App to Monitor Balances (Your Money)
QUOTE: If you want to know how close you are in the middle of any given month to being assessed an $8 or $10 or $20 fee when the month ends, you need to do the math each day yourself. The resulting effect is this: Many banks have built free-checking scoreboards for people who want to avoid fees, but they’re not putting the numbers up until the monthlong game is over.
New York Times Jan 16, 2012 Consumer Reports: Brand-name drugs can be far more costly but no more effective
QUOTE: Just 5 percent of patients learn about the price of prescribed drugs during the doctor visit, according to a survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. But many expensive brand-name medications have equally effective counterparts that cost far less.
Washington Post Dec 12, 2011 Amazon Denies It Has a Small-Business Problem (You're the Boss)
QUOTE: For years — since its inception — Amazon has been at implicit war with local brick-and-mortar stores. Last week, the implicit seemingly became explicit when Amazon began a promotion that encouraged customers to check out prices at local retailers and use a specially designed “Price Check” smartphone app to report what they found back to Amazon. Customers who then purchased the same item from Amazon received a 5 percent discount, up to $5.
New York Times Oct 06, 2011 Fired IT workers fight back against H-1B visa abuse: Hindi-only meetings and mass firings of experienced U.S. workers for cheaper foreign labor just as tech job demands grow
QUOTE: Skilled IT workers in the United States are fired and replaced with low-paid overseas employees and holders of H-1B visas....the story of Molina is a bit different than the usual outsourcing horror stories we hear all too often. Workers at Molina are fighting back with a lawsuit...
InfoWorld Oct 06, 2011 Charging for Debit Cards Is Robbery
QUOTE: When Bank of America told its customers recently that it would start charging them $5 a month to use debit cards, it argued that it was forced to make that change because of regulations that altered the economics of the cards....But the banks’ simplistic statements are merely an attempt to rationalize and obfuscate one of the largest illegal transfers of wealth from consumers to banks in American history.
New York Times Jun 20, 2011 A Little Clarity in the Fuzzy World of Airline Fees
QUOTE: one thing is clear from my conversations with business travelers, travel managers, air travel analysts and even government officials. They’re all looking for some consensus on how to define the [airline] fees, how to disclose them, and how to account and budget for them.
New York Times Jun 10, 2011 Revealing Hidden Costs of Your 401(k) (Your Money)
QUOTE: the costs are embedded in the expenses of many of the mutual funds you pick. In a practice known as revenue sharing, fund companies refund some of the expenses to the service provider running your plan to pay for its administrative costs....people with higher balances and higher expense ratios on their investments end up subsidizing their fellow workers.
New York Times May 30, 2011 Where ‘Free’ Costs a Lot
QUOTE: Although many carriers charge passengers flying with award tickets some government taxes and fees, foreign airlines are increasingly adding fuel surcharges to the bill...
New York Times Jan 20, 2011 Amazon.com: The Wal-Mart of Android apps?
QUOTE: there's too much incentive for Amazon.com to undercut competing app stores as a way to drive business to its own....The net effect is that when you offer your apps on the Amazon Appstore, you agree to grant Amazon.com, in perpetuity, the right to offer a lower price for your apps than is available anywhere else
InfoWorld Jun 30, 2010 The Good Driller Award
QUOTE: as long as we continue to drill for oil and mine for coal, we must do everything we can to make those industries safer. That includes not just tough, well-enforced regulations, economic liabilities and criminal penalties for companies that prove too dangerous, but also positive incentives and public rewards for those that put safety first.
New York Times Jun 10, 2010 Bringing Comparison Shopping to the Doctor’s Office
QUOTE: there has been no easy way for consumers to shop for the best deal on a colonoscopy or blood test. A start-up financed by prominent venture capitalists and the Cleveland Clinic, Castlight Health, aims to change that by building a search engine for health care prices.
New York Times Jun 06, 2010 Colleges offer grants, work-study to reduce students' debt
QUOTE: More than 50 colleges -- including elite private schools and flagship state universities in Virginia and Maryland -- have eliminated or capped loans in their financial aid portfolios for some or all students, promising enough aid in grants and work-study to cover most of the gap between what they charge and what each student can afford to pay. At a handful of private universities with sizable endowments, including Princeton, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, the goal is quite literally to eliminate loan debt for most graduating seniors.
Washington Post Jun 02, 2010 Heaviest Users of Phone Data Will Pay More
QUOTE: The trouble for AT&T was that a fraction of users — fewer than 2 percent — made such heavy use of the network that they slowed it down for everyone else. Starting on Monday, AT&T will offer tiered pricing. People will pay based on what they use, which the company says is fairer to everyone.
New York Times May 18, 2010 How to work the the rebate racket: Gripe Line readers have strong opinions on rebates -- and share some strategies for dealing with them
QUOTE: companies only offer rebates in the expectation many of them will go unfulfilled; the obstacles people encounter getting their money are intended to discourage their participation and, thus, improve on the percentage of unfulfilled rebates. For some people, this means avoiding any rebate offer, but others take a more calculated approach.
InfoWorld May 14, 2010 City Seeks to Revoke Licenses for Cab Overcharges
QUOTE: New York City moved on Friday to revoke the cab licenses of 633 taxi drivers who it said routinely charged customers higher out-of-town rates for trips within the five boroughs. The city said some of the overcharging was so egregious that it had asked prosecutors to investigate.
New York Times May 14, 2010 Debit Fee Cut Is a Rare Loss for Big Banks
QUOTE: Retailers have begged Congress for years, in vain, to limit the fees they must pay to banks when customers swipe credit or debit cards...That long record of futility ended in a landslide Thursday night. Sixty-four senators, including 17 Republicans, agreed to impose price controls on debit transactions over the furious objections of the beleaguered banking industry.
New York Times May 07, 2010 The Trades of a Lifetime in 20 Minutes
QUOTE: sudden panic and recovery on Thursday that briefly knocked some stocks down to a penny or two a share....several large United States exchanges said that although their trading platforms functioned properly on Thursday, they were nonetheless canceling many trades made during the market’s Big Bounce.
New York Times Apr 09, 2010 Wiseguys face the music for trying to play it smart in online ticketing
QUOTE: Federal investigators charge that a ring of hackers working for Wiseguy Tickets Inc. cracked security measures at Ticketmaster and other major vendors. They gained control of 1.5 million tickets to popular and coveted concerts and sporting events nationwide between 2002 and 2009. Operating mainly out of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Wiseguys earned $25 million, as prosecutors tally it, selling premium seats at inflated prices to brokers who resold them at even higher markups to the public.
Washington Post Mar 23, 2010 Priceless: how our unknowing irrationality confounds the price of everything
QUOTE: ...Poundstone's treatment of the history of behavioral economics is both funny and fascinating, a kind of counterpoint to the history set out in Myth of the Rational Market.
Boing Boing Jan 09, 2010 The Damage of Card Rewards (Your Money)
QUOTE: the 1 to 3 percent or more of every transaction that merchants pay to accept the cards is a significant cost, and the small local retailers that make neighborhoods vibrant often pay a higher percentage. Stores then build those fees into higher prices, so people who aren’t earning any rewards can end up subsidizing those who do.
New York Times Sep 14, 2009 Insurers Fight Speech-Impairment Remedy
QUOTE: Medicare and private health insurers decline to cover cheap devices like iPhones and netbook PCs that can help the speech-impaired, despite their usefulness and lower cost.
New York Times Sep 02, 2009 The Fix Is In: The hidden public-private cartel that sets health care prices.
QUOTE: Fundamentally, the entire payment model of American health care drives medical centers, doctors, and hospital managers to push for more fancy procedures at the expense of primary care doctors.
Slate Aug 24, 2009 Dialysis treatment in USA: High costs, high death rates
QUOTE: Although the USA spends more per dialysis patient than other countries, that does not result in higher survival rates or even, many argue, a better quality of life.
USA TODAY Aug 20, 2009 The unkindest cuts: Economics focus
QUOTE: Monopoly explanations now compete with theories that see the same behaviour [Discounting] as helpful to consumers. That has made it harder to sort malign from benign business practices.
Economist Aug 20, 2009 FCC asks us all: what, exactly, is broadband? The FCC wants you to tell the agency what you mean by "broadband," and how the Commission should redefine the term as technology changes.
QUOTE: The FCC has put out a Public Notice asking the wise to help them define "broadband [Internet]."
Ars Technica Aug 19, 2009 Obama endangering developing countries' access to affordable drugs, activists charge
QUOTE: [activists] say the problem may lie in the administration's reluctance to confront the giant pharmaceutical companies at a time when the companies are crucial allies in President Obama's struggle to revamp the U.S. healthcare system.
Aug 18, 2009 Why AT&T Killed Google Voice: Telecom operators are yesterday's business. It's time for a national data policy that encourages innovation.
QUOTE: AT&T is dragging down the rest of us by overcharging us for voice calls and stifling innovation in a mobile data market critical to the U.S. economy.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Aug 16, 2009 Job Search Firms: Big Pitches and Fees, Few Jobs
QUOTE: Mr. [Kerry] Fischman’s experience highlights the vulnerability of job seekers as they cast about for help in the most difficult job market in decades and encounter a bewildering and largely unregulated array of individuals and businesses offering assistance. While some customers have benefited from their work, others have accused the companies of using misleading sales tactics.
New York Times Aug 14, 2009 Major Carriers Shun Broadband Stimulus: Funds Would Come With Tighter Rules
QUOTE: The Obama administration made a national priority of spreading high-speed Internet access to every American home and offered stimulus money to help companies pay for it, but the biggest network operators are staying away from the program.
Washington Post Aug 06, 2009 Is free news a thing of the past?
QUOTE: The media tycoon [Rupert Murdoch] has said his News Corp will charge online customers for news content across all its websites.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Aug 04, 2009 What Happens to the Clunkers Traded In? ( If You Must Know)
QUOTE: while the ["cash-for-clunkers"] initiative has proved highly popular with consumers, critics are raising concerns about the economic and environmental hazards inherent in the process of ruining so many cars beyond repair.
Time Magazine Jul 31, 2009 Probing The iPhone's Secrets: FCC investigates Apple ban on Google Voice.
QUOTE: Some of the great iPhone mysteries--including the secret terms of any deal between AT&T and Apple to limit what tricks iPhones can perform--could soon be made public, thanks to a series of pointed letters from the Federal Communications Commission.
Forbes Jul 30, 2009 Take Back the Beep Campaign (From the Desk of David Pogue)
QUOTE: Last week, in The Times and on my blog, I've been ranting about one particularly blatant money-grab by U.S. cellphone carriers: the mandatory 15-second voicemail instructions.
New York Times Jul 28, 2009 Senator Urges Scrutiny of Ticketmaster Deal
QUOTE: A key lawmaker [Sen. Herb Kohl] on Monday urged more scrutiny by regulators over a proposed merger between concert ticketing giant Ticketmaster and producer Live Nation, saying it presented "serious competition concerns."
Washington Post Jul 07, 2009 West Virginia sues Comcast over cable box tying
QUOTE: most service providers push their customers into renting the [cable] box from them, which ensures an additional revenue stream that easily surpasses the volume pricing they pay for it.... But efforts to divorce the service from its receiver may have gotten a big boost last week when the state of West Virginia filed a similar suit, alleging it's an illegal tying of services.
Ars Technica Jul 06, 2009 Epicenter The Business of Tech Justice Department Looking for Unfair Telecom Behavior
QUOTE: The Justice Department is looking into whether nation’s largest telecoms are abusing their market power over the nation’s wireline, internet and wireless networks...
Wired Jun 14, 2009 Use Their Work Free? Some Artists Say No to Google
QUOTE: While some online publications, like Salon and Slate, hire illustrators, many rely on free or cheap stock illustrations, so illustrators are on tenterhooks about making a living online...“When a company like Google comes out very publicly and expects that the market would just give them free artwork, it sets a very dangerous precedent.”
New York Times May 02, 2009 Fair Game: Students’ First Lesson: Beware Loans’ Fine Print
QUOTE: lenders do not disclose all fees charged in the servicing and collection of student loans, and loan contracts do not always include benefits that are promised in lender advertisements — like the possibility of a lower interest rate after graduation. Most troubling, some lenders ask students to sign promissory notes obliging them to pay off their loans before they are told what interest rate they will be charged.
New York Times Mar 25, 2009 What Do Your Minutes Cost? You Can’t Tell by the Cellphone Bill (Phone Smart)
QUOTE: many people don’t bother to closely read their cellphone bills....Now a consumer advocacy group is arguing that, actually, there’s not enough information on a wireless bill.
New York Times Feb 17, 2009 Lawsuit Says Google Was Unfair to Rival Site
QUOTE: TradeComet.com, which operates a site called SourceTool.com, a vertical search engine for those seeking business products and services, accused Google of raising the advertising rates it charged the company after it realized that SourceTool was a potential competitor.
New York Times Jan 08, 2009 Nationwide Inquiry on Bids for Municipal Bonds
QUOTE: appears to be collusion among the banks and other companies that have helped state and local governments take approximately $400 billion worth of municipal notes and bonds to market each year....companies did not engage in open competition for this lucrative business, but secretly divided it among themselves, imposing layers of excess cost on local governments, violating the federal rules for tax-exempt bonds and making questionable payments and campaign contributions to local officials who could steer them business.
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