Rip-Off Country

We live in a 'rip-off' country.

Enter any unfamiliar territory and rip-offs are certain. Why unfamiliar, drop your guard on familiar ground and you are in trouble. Rip offs follow the same pattern as do products and services. When you get overcharged a few bucks on your bottle of Pepsi at a kirana store, that's a 'low cost rip-off'. When the Auto driver takes you on a trip around the country side to get you to your destination and then pockets the extra charge, that's called a mid-segment rip-off.

Wanna know about the premium rip-off? Vir Sanghvi puts it quite eloquently. 'So, why do hotels still charge you for a bottle of Bisleri or a can of Coke when you are already paying Rs20,000 for a room? My guess is that they do it out of habit. The motto of the global hotel trade (unlike the airlines, which take value-added more seriously) has always been: Screw the guest.

Consider the other rip-offs. All of us who stay in hotels are reconciled to paying mark-ups of 500% or more on phone calls. Within the hotel business, they feel no shame about this...'

As a consumer in India, one must always be ready for the rip-offs round the corner. Beat it, and maybe you can even buy that fancy gizmo you always wanted :)


The Rip Off Continues ...

Hello Sir,

The examples of the 3 types of rip off were very clear. I just wanted to diversify into more areas where Indian consumers get ripped off ..

If we talk about the monopoly of some companies like Microsoft & Apple; these companies have a great market hold in their areas of expertise and thus have always unfairly exploited their market domination by overcharging customers of their unique products and services.

Also, the airline tickets being sold on the internet, the books being bought from internet sites, etc. are also examples of the various degrees of possible rip offs which consumers do face day in and day out.

Sir, with whatever little knowledge i have about marketing, a rip off is best explained with the concept of dynamic pricing. Dynamic Pricing makes it mandatory for a consumer to pay a variable amount for a certain product or service which depends on the consumer's geaograhic location, timing of payment etc.
So, what i mean to say is : can't this rip off be avoided if some regulations are made by the government or any other regulatory authority to stop this dynamic pricing and help consumers getting ripped off ...? Though I understand this would affect the businesses which are run by the corporates or the hotels (as per your example in the article) , but it would help consumers a lot and would certainly reduce their expenditure ... if we look at it from the consumer's point of view.


Deeptaman Mukherjee
ABS 07-09, Marketing.

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