Why is discrimination permitted by the powers that be and various consumer bodies/quangos that we, the people pay for?
Age shopping discrimination:
I can stand in Greggs on a given day and pay 10% more than the person next to me, for exactly the same food, simply because the person next to me is over 65.
If you are a student, you are charged less than me by most companies websites, because you can enter your student number and receive 10-15% off.
When I buy car insurance, or any other insurance for that matter, we are charged more money because of statistics, ie, my age group statistically have more claims than another age group.
"New" customerÂ shopping discrimination:
If it is your first time shopping online with a company, nine times out of ten you are given a discount for using the company for the first time, whilst long established or regular customers are paying a higher price.
Insurance is famous for this, "new" customers pay lower premiums because they are "new" whilst existing customers often pay a higher premium.
Statistical shopping discrimination:
We, the people, have absolutely no way of influencing this type of shopping discrimination at all. A company gather statistical information, based on the questions that they themselves ask (by simply wording questions in a way that is more likely to give any required outcome) and then charge a price based on their findings.
Supermarkets are famous for this. They don't just put things on the shelf and try to achieve the best prices, everything they sell has statistical data factored into their prices.
For example, Heinz tinned soup - with a recession forecast to hit hard and winter on its way, the supermarkets pushed up the price of this popular product from around 57p to more than 80p - statistical data confirmed that in times of hardship, people bought more tinned goods (most of their named tinned brands went up) factor in more statistical data regarding more people buying soups in the winter time, once the cold weather hit three weeks later, people were paying premium prices for it, the profits on each tin sold went up by more than 50%.
After a month or so, "sales" came on, dropping the price to around 72p - this was still more than 30% higher than the normal price!
The prices charged using statistical data, have nothing to do with how much a product costs to the company in purchasing, storing, displaying, the product, it's all to do with more profits.
Insurance is another one - How has what I do in my job got anything to do with paying higher prices for my insurance?
The fact is, it hasn't.
It is merely another form of shopping discrimination, why does a civil servant get a lower price than a "manual" worker?
Why does a "company director" pay less for their insurance than a "civil servant" or "skilled" worker?
Next time you are getting insurance quotes online, have a play about with the employment section then recalculate your quote, it's amazing the amount of times it is reduced depending on your job description!
Existing customer shopping discrimination:
There are not many, but some shopping websites have been known to quote a higher price for those people who log in, on the website and then look for goods to buy or those who have previously visited that website, via cookie tracking.
Website visitors who shop anonymously, then log in when it comes to paying have been known to get lower prices,
What, if anything, can be done to stop price/shopping discrimination?
By individuals, very little.
This is why these consumer bodies and quangos, that we pay millions to every year, need to start doing their jobs and protecting the customer.
If you go for a job interview and are told that you haven't got the job because you are not retired or a student, then this is age discrimination and illegal - what's the difference in being told to pay more for a product at Greggs, because you are not retired?
Or paying 10% more online when shopping at a website because I am not a student?
A bank/building society cannot recoup losses caused by other customers, by charging a set amount for their charges - this is unenforceable in common law - so why can an insurance company charge me a premium, based on the claims it's had in the past year from other customers?
Why is allowed to get away with charging me higher prices because I do a manual job instead of being a company director?
Two people living in the same house, with the same vehicle, with the same driving record. One person is a regular customer with the insurance company, the other person is joining them for the first time - why is it deemed acceptable for the new customer to pay less for the exact same product?
A price, wether on sale or not, should apply to all customers equally.
All that's happening today, is that we are all victims of shopping discrimination, where sections of the population are being given discounts and this is subsidised by the price paid by everyone else.
The powers that be and the consumer groups (that we pay for) are doing absolutely nothing about it!
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