comment and reply on the following two sources. 100 words each.
1. The best example i can think of manipulative pricing is by car dealerships. Buying or leasing a car can be an exhilarating experience. But for many people, it often turns a stressful one as they struggle to sift through low or no upfront down payments, low or no-stressful loans, trade in allowances and rebates. If it seems as though dealers enjoy created muddled, to reduce the element of surprise, be on the lookout for certain manipulative examples. You won! Come to our dealership to claim your prize, If you’re lucky then you will get token for your time and trouble. But for the most part, this is just a tactic to get you to dealership. Another one is “only $99 per month” which could be true for the short period of time untill a ballon payment comes due. “$0 due at lease signing” which also could be true unless the fine print discloses that extra fees and sometimes even several thousand dollars are due within 1 to 2 weeks.
I think it should not be morally permissible for the company to try and manipulate you as consumer because if an account of manipulation identifies its underlying characteristics as being relevantly similar to some other thing that we have independent grounds for regarding as morally wrong, then we would likely want to argue that manipulation is wrong for similar reasons. For example, if we define manipulation as every form of influence besides rational persuasion and them claim that the wrongness of manipulation is absolute, we will be forced to conclude that no form of influence besides rational persuasion is ever morally legistimate.
2. 1. What examples can you think of in your experience of manipulative pricing?
I recently had an experience where my property management company engaged in manipulative pricing. My partner and I renewed the lease on our apartment in July despite our rent being increased. One week later, I received a promotional email from the property management company advertising a special for signing a lease in July which would give you 2 months rent-free. After checking the available units, I realized that the unit next door to ours was priced at 75% of the price we just renewed at.
The property management company said that moving to a different unit in the building made you ineligible for the special, also we would have to break the lease we just signed which has a fee equal to 2 months rent.
Do you think it was morally permissible for the company to try and manipulate you as a consumer, in such a way? Why or why not?
It was not morally permissible, it was price gouging which preys on the consumer’s relative and circumstantial need for a product. Typically, people opt to endure a rent increase rather than move yearly to avoid it, and the property management company took advantage of this despite the down market. The company also tried to avoid responsibility by claiming that rent prices are determined by an automated system that prices units based on demand. This logic was undermined by the fact that residents are required to give a minimum 30-day notice if they are moving out. Thus, prior knowledge that there would be a high level of vacancy for July (more vacancy=lower prices) existed.
In a dramatic conclusion, we opted to break our expensive lease, pay the 2-month penalty. We then signed a “new” lease rather than a transfer (a technicality that determined that we could in fact take advantage of the special), on a bigger apartment in our same building that has a lower price than our current, smaller unit. We’re moving, and the process was needlessly manipulative, but in the end we make money and get a bigger apartment. I give my property managers an A+ for price gouging effort.
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