Three more companies have announced that they are raises prices on their goods or services: Starbucks is raising prices by one percent on some items across the Northeast and Sunbelt; Denny’s is raising prices three to five percent this year; and Delta is adding a $3 charge on flights between the U.S. and Europe.
Word of these price hikes started coming out late yesterday, yet it hasn’t been met with the same level of consumer rancor that the Verizon or Bank of America fee proposals did. What gives? We have a few thoughts.
1. The fees aren’t arbitrary. Both Starbucks and Denny’s are raising the prices on menu items because of the increased cost of food. Delta is adding $3 because of a new law. These explanations go beyond “companies just want to make money,” though these companies certainly do. They’re even kind of relatable; most people can say that their expenses have gone up for these same reasons.
2. These brands sell things that people consider indulgences. At this point, everyone “needs” a mobile phone and a debit card. But do you need a grande gingerbread latte with extra foam? Or a “Grand Slam” breakfast? Or a trip to Europe? Yes, yes, and yes. But really, no. If you’re indulging, a couple of extra dollars is just part of spoiling yourself.
3. Customers feel like sometimes they actually catch a break with these companies. Most people think they’re mobile service sucks. Outages, dropped calls, something has happened to make them wish they weren’t so dependent on these devices. And banks have been cursed all around the world since the recession hit.
People who love Starbucks really love it and feel they get a benefit (coffee fix) from it. And they are rewarded with gift cards and discounts to get more of that thing they love. Denny’s is always an affordable option. And even though people complain about air travel, you can still find ways to get a perk or two or snag a discount here and there. And, air travel is safe. So it soothes a bit of the sting.
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