Is Electricity Really That Expensive?

from the what-else-can-we-charge-for? dept

Who knew electricity was so expensive? While such systems are apparently quite common in parts of Asia, a new company is releasing a coin operated mobile phone charger for use in hotels and airports. Following stories about Ryanair banning mobile phone charging at work, this seems somewhat silly. Many retail outlets are finding that providing easy to access electricity outlets to customers is good for business (and a barely noticeable cost in terms of electricity), it seems like this is yet another way that some companies are hoping to charge for something, when they’d get a lot more goodwill (and happy customers for their main business) if they’d just open it up for free.

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Comments on “Is Electricity Really That Expensive?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: expensive electricity

It’ll back off as soon as managers have incentive to measure something by a means other than the bottom line.

Goodwill cannot be *directly* measured. Ergo, it’s immeasurable and therefore extraneous to our bottom line. Ever so regretful and all that, but it’s business, old chap.

Whatever. It’s not like I’m disagreeing with you; it’s just that I don’t see it ever ending.

Anonymous of Course says:

Re: expensive electricity

In some northern states, like Minnesota, there are electrical outlets at the shopping malls that you can use for your automobile block heater free of charge.
At one Digital Equipment Corp facility (MR1) they provided some outlets in the parking lot for electric vehicles. One person I knew in the large computer engineering group had a City Car electric vehicle. This was a nice perk for him.
These are inexpensive goodwill gestures. The cost of charging a cell phone battery, EV battery or running a 1200 Watt block heater is really down in the noise when you run a airport, factory or shopping mall.
I guess it’s a matter of the corporate culture involved… stingy bean counters who are looking to chisel every cent they can from customers don’t get my business if I have a choice.
Compressed air is free where I purchase gasoline. I have to go out of my way a little but it’s worth it. The people working there friendly and I’d rather give my business to them.

T.K. says:

Convenience sells...

Actually pay-per-charge is a convenient and viable business model. Especially in Asia, you find yourself too often forgetting to charge your mobile phone the night before (most likely from having to drink with your customer all night long and coming home drunk, a common business scenario in Asia). Most of the pay-per-charge stations are located on the street and the transaction is VERY cheap — usually 20 cents will get you a full charge and in less than a minute. So I guess you could say you’re paying for a “super charge”. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be just as convenient in airports or hotels — however, it is foreseeable that the U.S. market might not see much value in this, especially since most of us spend a third of our lives in our cars.

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