Prices and Lies

I’m always bothered by how people put prices.

For example, I just read the sentence, “Tickets are $20, plus a $1 theater restoration fee.”

Doesn’t that mean that the price is $21, then?

My cell phone bill is another pet peeve. It’s for the amount I signed at, plus taxes, regulatory fees, 911 fees, and more. My cell bill is about $5/month more than the price I was quoted and the price I signed for.

I really wish that stores would advertise the actual price — inclusive of tax. Because, well, the “actual price — inclusive of tax” is the price I have to pay to leave the store with the item, so price tags indicating anything less are deceptive, even if it’s industry-wide practice. It’s not as if I can get the register and say, “Oh, I don’t want the tax with this item” and have it waived*, or that I can call AT&T and opt out of the regulatory fees. If they pass the cost onto consumers, it’s part of the price and needs to be a part of the price that’s advertised.

* Yes, I know tax-exempt agencies can actually do that. But they’re in the (extreme) minority, so the price should be what normal people pay, not what people purchasing for special agencies pay.

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