terça-feira, janeiro 02, 2007

"The Hidden-Fee Economy"

Sobre os custos "escondidos", que por vezes o lado da oferta não gosta de mostrar ao consumidor:

"For the American consumer today, the vexing pinch of the hidden fee is felt everywhere. Hotels offer low rates but fleece customers with expensive minibars and $2 local phone calls. Banks advertise “free” checking accounts that turn out to cost a fortune in A.T.M. surcharges. Printer companies obscure the fact that a $99 inkjet printer can require hundreds of dollars’ worth of ink cartridges over its lifetime.

(...) in the May issue of The Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Harvard professor David Laibson and Xavier Gabaix of M.I.T. offered a different and more persuasive account of why hidden fees persist.

Their argument assumes the existence of two kinds of consumers — sophisticates and myopes. Sophisticates play the hidden-fee game well. They seek out low advertised rates and whenever possible avoid or find substitutes for the hidden fees, using cellphones at hotels, steering clear of the minibar and setting their printers to draft mode. Myopes, by contrast, obliviously sip $5 Cokes.

Continue a ler este interessante texto publicado no NY Times aqui.