Wednesday, March 5, 2014

So I was listening to the radio this morning

As I was preparing breakfast this morning I was listening to CBC radio where the host was talking to the Quebec Consumer Protection Agency's spokesperson on a 1 year investigation on price rigging in Montreal chain stores.  In this case the target was "The Bay" or better know wold-wide as the Hudson bay Company -- one of the world's oldest company (really its founding charter dates back to the 17th century).

Anyway, this  spokesperson said that after a year they had uncovered a scheme  whereby stores where inflating the price of goods to make the sales price more appealing.  The specific example here was a $800 dollar mattress priced down from its "regular" price, of lets say $2,800 (that me saying the number by the way!), but in fact the real retail price was  around $2,000 (spokesman didn't know that price either)

In this story there are three important fact:

(1)  The retail price indicated by the store
(2)  The "real" retail price that the store sold the mattress
(3)  The sales price.

I swear before God the spokesperson didn't know figure (1) and (2).  This was also the only example he had (after a full year's investigation).  I see two things here; either the spokesperson was the most incompetent person in the world (hey don't discount that possibility), or that the investigation didn't really last for a year; they got the mandate but did nothing for about 11 months and 15 days -- then sent a Senior Official to make enquires.  In two weeks they found out that stores inflate the regular price (like we didn't know this).  What a massive waste of resources.

Unbeknown to the French speaking Quebec government there are now apps that show you the retail price of all goods on earth.  Its easy go to www.amazon.com and there you are.   The "fraud" here is that the rebait was not actually 70% it was 50% from The Bay's regular price.  By the way if anyone went to the Mattress King there they would find the same mattress for $825 regular and if you are ok with a mismatch in color then its $600....

The real crimes here:

(1)  That a spokesperson would know little about the story
(2)  That he singled out a specific store (is that the only instance?)
(3)  That any customer who has a mobile phone with internet could figure out what is the real price in about 10 seconds with maybe cheaper options that buying a mattress at The Bay
(4)   That the Quebec government waste its time on such trivial matter
(5)   That The Bay would be stupid enough to think they could hoodwink they clients so easily

No one looks good here -- nor does CBC Radio after they should have pre-interviewed the guy to figure out if he was too stupid

Anyway, Wednesday morning rant over!


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