We all hate a traditional bait and switch scam where you are expecting one thing and are sucker punched with another. With the economy in the current state that it is in, it is certainly no surprise that marketers and business owners are becoming creatively deceptive. (Perhaps they should read my blog post, which offers tips to beat the economy with respect for your company and your consumer.)
Gas stations have been advertising one amount per gallon, but charging another… just for using a credit card?
They call it the “cash customer discount”, and I am torn to an opinion. On one hand, I respect that gas prices are increasingly more expensive, and in an attempt to pass savings on to consumers, they are only profiting an average of 2.7 cents a gallon. Also, offering “cash discounts” enables them to bypass expensive credit card transaction fees averaging 2% of sale per transaction, in addition to encouraging customers to come into the store to purchase perishable goods, lottery tickets, etc.
But then the responsible and ethical marketer in me steps in. Bait and switch schemes are never okay. Ever. They are profiting from pure dishonesty and that is intolerable.
Though, by advertising both prices- cash and credit, which they are now being forced to do, this turns the mindset around from screwing credit card users to now offering a sensible, cheaper alternative to those willing to pay cash. And I can sit well with that.