DailyPost 2627

Of late we have seen surge pricing into practice in the airlines industry in a big way. Surge pricing seems to have become consented upon mode of business, be it a product or a service. Presumably, it is not even a legal term. It is not an illegal business practice, not even on the fringes of it. With so much at stake, we need to get into basics first. What is surge pricing? Surge pricing is the practice of increasing the price of goods and services when there is great demand for them. Conversely, can it not be said black marketeering in a different format.

What is the difference between the movie tickets being sold in black to this current practice? It is made legal, unannounced and all and sundry seem to have accepted it. Think of situation when it becomes an across-the-board practice. The doctor increases his fees depending of on the number of patients, who are to visit him on a particular day. It can also happen that you might get cheated by fake talking shops to create an artificial surge. The crux of the matter which is really disconcerting is the fact they are no fixed price for same product or the same service.

Surge pricing in a manifestation of lawlessness in the market and no intent to control the market of the powers who are legally mandated to perform in such situations. Think of a Kota type coaching scenario, when more number starting coming, keep on inflating the price. This certainly can be called a price priceless capitalism. This war is not between competitors but of all with the people directly, who unfortunately happen to be customers. If you put liquor to surge pricing where will story end, if it ever does. Is profiteering not an offence under the law of land? On a regular basis people face surge pricing of the crudest kind, being fleeced left, right and centre; by the fixers, setters, go to persons and jugaad masters. That should also become legal then.

Does capitalism allow you to become highway barons of the gilded age. Ethical or unethical is a different issue, surge pricing of the nature we heard of during World Cup finals of air travel and hotel rooms speaks of a legal and regulatory vacuum in the country. Fun let them pay some might say, but is this nature of economy we plan to create. How is it different from any other form of loot? The same companies who are ripping apart the customer, sing melodious songs of the CSR work. What about any number of persons who are unable to travel in an emergency or death in the family because of this curse of surge pricing? Don’t they deserve that travel? Then who else deserves. That too when they are ready to pay the normal price or even slightly inflated ones. Trains have of late shown serious symptoms of this malaise. The tickets crossed even air fares. Shameful, demeaning and painful.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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