April 5, 1996 in City

You Want Service? Hey, You Pay For It Fees Are Fair Don’t Expect Ease To Come For Free.

By The Spokesman-Review
 

People should stop complaining about the cost of convenience.

The extra charges that come with using an automatic teller machine, calling on a cellular phone or stopping at a full-service gas station simply are signs that many people want more convenience in their lives and are willing to pay for it.

Pay? Of course. Convenience isn’t free.

Someone must be paid to build and service ATMs. The all-night grocery where you can buy anything at any hour still needs an attendant.

Sure, the good old days seemed cheaper. They also were a lot less flexible.

Banks used to be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. If you missed those bankers’ hours, there was no way to get $20 for the weekend.

Now there is a way. We call it the automatic teller machine. It’s handy. It makes life easier. Handiness and ease cost a few bucks.

Most people still have an alternative to convenience.

They don’t have to use ATMs. No one says carrying a cell phone is a God-given right. Pump your own gas and save 5 cents a gallon.

Entire industries are being defined by service and convenience vs. low cost. Think Nordstrom. Then think the big warehouse stores.

Consumers can - and do - drive much of the market when it comes to finding the right balance between convenience and cost.

Indeed, varying levels of comfort, convenience and service provide distinctive contrasts as banks and other industries define themselves in the marketplace.

Buying toilet paper 144 rolls at a time is cheaper, if that’s what you want.

If storing 144 rolls of paper isn’t your idea of what home life should be, then you can go someplace else where you can buy one roll at a time.

Consumers can pressure merchants and institutions to provide more service at a lower cost.

But this pressure cannot be expected to result in a promise of a night at the Ritz with valet parking and free breakfast for the same price as Motel 6.

In a hectic, time-short world, convenience, service and the sense of being pampered are salable items.

Complaining about convenience not being free suggests someone should be looking for a better job so he could afford more conveniences.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides CREDIT = Chris Peck/For the editorial board


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email