Discount is a trend in disguise which does not necessarily translate into saving money. We are too blind to see the reality behind this luring technique embraced by all companies whether big or small to advertise their products. The magical word ‘discount’ for some unknown reason is synonymous with the word bargain when in reality it is on the contrary. One of my internet surfing ventures provided me with a thorough understanding of what a good bargain means. If I spend $50 for a pair of shoes that would last a year as opposed to buying a pair of shoes for $30 that would last for six months, then I have made a good bargain. It is not hard for a consumer to work out that spending only $30 for a pair of shoes is a discount in disguise because he would have to spend $60 for two pairs of shoes that would last a year. In this case, $50 shoes is the best bargain.
Our complacency has made us so lethargic that we often shy away from mental calculations that are challenging in nature and we prefer to rely on discount brokers to guide us to make the best investments. What we deem a mountain is actually a mole as it takes only a few seconds or minutes to work out which option is best for our needs. There is a tendency among common man to overlook essential factors like durability, brand, product quality, service standards, convenience, after sales support etc. for a cheaper price.
This trend is catching on fast with electricity providers as each retailer is vying for more customers by offering an increased percentage of discount than the other. It is so confusing for customers to make the right choice from a large pool of providers offering huge ‘pay on time’ discounts, low rates etc. that they often turn to discount brokers for assistance. What is more important than discounts is fair billing and excellent customer service; something we tend to overlook for temporarily cheap prices or bills. Therefore, a huge second electricity bill which defies normal usage, common-sense and often appears incredible or ridiculous even after the application of 30 or 40% ‘pay on time’ discount should not come as a surprise as we have allowed ourselves to be victims of the advertising world’s manipulative strategies.
It is time to make informed decisions based on research and not based on discounts disguised to sound as bargains. It is time to attach a new meaning to Harry Gordon Selfridge’s, “The customer is always right” as customers will be more knowledgeable and hence will make the best choices.