UA 4-mile ‘deal’ analogy contest winners

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The United 4-mile ‘deal’ has been beaten into tedium, some proponents of the ‘deal’ now sulking that United did not give them prompt personal attention, some aggressively seeking more.

I was delighted at the thoughtful contributions from readers on all sides of the issue. To highlight some is to unfairly neglect others.

I was particularly interested in analogous life examples, pro and con. My own barber example had a particularly glaring weakness in that while it included taking advantage of a mistake, it it did not capture the element of broadcasting it to others with no prior intention or need to purchase, others then rushing in for the sole purpose to take advantage. So I made this little contest to solicit analogies.

Removing comments that were not entrants, there were thought-proving candidates taking various angles:

  • Christian A, Walmart self-service pricing error, “…the customer begins to complain that he is entitled to the TV because “allowing” others to get away with swiping the TV’s and not him constitutes some form of discrimination.”
  • Ryan, gas station self-service pump mispriced and owner calls later, “…Even though I know it was a great deal(mistake), the higher price was quoted on the giant sign, I still get the gas for $.30/gallon and the station has to eat the cost…”
  • Joe, United exec bumps passenger from a flight on day of travel, “…Then on the day of your trip an executive from United decides to take a last second weekend trip and has you involuntarily bumped…”
  • Kris Ziel, Tiffany misprice at register, “…when the salesperson tries to correct the error you threaten to sue and file a complaint with the BBB.”
  • Albert Chung, Big Mac misprice, “…But of course, there are already customers in their cars driving home, and 3 out of the 1000 that sold, are halfway eaten…”
  • Ari, dating game, “…It’ll all work out eventually, but only after hours of misunderstanding on the phone.”
  • Quikroute, online TV purchase, “Was it bad of me for ordering – me thinks not / Was it bad of BB for not fulfilling – me thinks not / and they all live happily ever after – The End!”
  • Steve, flower shop, “…the thing to do would be to let the shop know that they have a malfunction rather than stand outside the shop and encourage everyone coming in to take advantage of the “deal”. Having said that, what I probably would have done is pay my 8 cents, feel a bit guilty, and find other ways to justify it. Hey, I’m only human.”
  • Ken, US Airways creative award routing, “…Rep knows their geography and says it will not price out. So you hang up and try again and Hong Kong is legit….”
  • James, a bit of ribald, click to read.

Runner-up (4 cents USD): Christian A for humorously highlighting the egregious sense of entitlement among the most extreme.

Grand prize (8 cents USD): Steve for his flower shop analogy, which highlights the small business versus big faceless corporation rationalization many have employed, plus the “…and find other ways to justify it. Hey, I’m only human,” conclusion.

Thanks to all who contributed to the contest and the debate.

And Hong Kong is worth visiting at the regular price. 🙂

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10 years ago

I’m not one for big speeches, so I’ll keep this short. I just want to thank everyone who made this possible, especially Rapid Travel Chai. Your choice demonstrates keen intellect and insightfulness.

I think I’ll invest my winnings in a discounted stock and wait for it to multiply into perhaps thirty or forty cents – enough for a lifetime worth of trips to Hong Kong!

10 years ago

@ Christian A – Hope it doesn’t cause you a tax liability. 😉

Christian A
Christian A
10 years ago

Wow…this is just an embarrassment of riches…

10 years ago

I would like a follow up on how steve is going to spend the grand prize. 🙂

10 years ago

Congratulations Steve!