Carriers Free To Discriminate And Haggle

An Appeals Court has ruled that wireless carriers are free to offer different deals to different people. A woman had complained that she was being discriminated against, after discovering that mobile phone plan deals that were offered to others were not available to her as well. The court ruled that haggling is a perfectly natural competitive strategy. This is, indeed, a good decision from a legal point of view. They weren’t discriminating on the basis of race, gender, religion or any such issue that is against the law, but were naturally offering different deals to different customers who represent different levels of value to the company as a customer. This is good business. Differential pricing makes sense in many markets, even if it upsets customers when they find out about it. That’s where the risk lies. While differential pricing makes sense from an initial pricing standpoint, the potential for consumer backlash if it’s discover, can often outweigh the benefits. We covered this suit when it was launched in October, when we observed that for the most part, the ability to deal benefits consumers.

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