Petrol down. Prices remain. Just us.

I read an interesting article in a local English daily. The petrol prices has come down a lot. However, the restaurants said they can’t lower their prices. It’s funny because they said the main reason they could not lower the prices is because of their suppliers are still charging them the same. The suppliers meanwhile said that the transporters have yet to reduce their prices after the petrol price drop. The transporters meanwhile are saying that it is hard to estimate how long would this fuel price last, thus, no adjustments. On the other hand, in some huge departmental stores, some of the restaurants inside are giving out lunch sets or dinner sets at just RM7.90 including a soup, a main course and a drink!  Yes, you guessed it, COMPETITION for customers. Even Mc.Donalds has their value sets and do do KFC. It has to be competition because both are not charity organisations. The real reason that all these are happening would always be the consumers. If we are still okay and patronise the restaurants while still lamenting the fact that they are expensive, then we are the real cause. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy to survive when you open a restaurant, I do understand. However, there are many restaurants that are overcharging and all of us know about it. Yet, we continue to eat there. What a great encouragement.
Everyone said more competition would push for better services. Very true. Where does the competition come from? It’s from the buyers and users of such services. Why do majority of us shop around when we want to buy a new smartphone? Most of the time, we would go to places where many phone shops would be operating side by side. That way, we know we would get the best possible price. It’s the same. Is it true that the food that we want to eat, only that ONE shop sells it and only that ONE shop is our only choice? If answer is Yes, then congratulations to the shop, they can continue increasing their price. Pity the ones who must eat from that one shop only. Until today, there are nasi lemak, with half an egg, some sambals, kacang and timun for RM1.50 and all the way to RM5 or higher. Do we believe in the power of the people? If we do, it’s also time to exert a little influence on prices that we feel are not justified, not just continuing to post in Facebook comments and then do nothing.
Personally, if I ever come across any restaurants which I feel is overcharging, I would not go there and I would tell everyone I know about it. Perhaps it is just the nature of us Malaysians, we are good people. Therefore, most of the time, we complain and then forget about it. Inflation, according to economists depends on demand and supply. Higher demand, insufficient supply, prices go up. Too much supply, insufficient demand, prices come down. When we go back to the actual foundation for this inflation matter, whether its demand or supply, it points back to us, the people. During good times, even the hotel rooms would be expensive and yet during low periods, the hotels can throw special discounts. Please do not tell me that their operating costs differ between good times and slow times? I know, everyone have their favourite spots. Please continue to patronise and support them as much as you want. Would I still go to Starbucks? Yes, I would. These days, mostly for those buy one free one offers. I also have some vouchers where I get another free cup of coffee when I buy any coffee there. We shall see what happens when they run out of offers / promotions. Seriously, I don’t think so. 🙂
written on 5 Jan 2015
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  1. nowadays, it is getting unreasonable for some kopitiam in Penang, the beverage they offer is a cup of tea ice is fully loaded with ice, in fact, the tea beverage only half of cup, there is one kopitiam in sungai ara Penang, I bought a few pack of beverage, it was even less than half tea beverage, I was really losing out my patience and spoke out about the concern. The coffee girl just reacted normally and shake the pack of beverage up side down without filling some little more without bothering me. from the experience… I would say that it is really greedy and no moral.

  2. Generally, it is an ethic issue in running the business at such, the business only know how to rise the price but not the other way round. in the end, consumer will be the victim especially those in employeement from low and medium class.
    This issue need to be highlighted to authority for taking the action against those irresponsible business activity, enforcement need to be taken to control the price to be increased unnecessary from business.

  3. guns and roses avatar
    guns and roses

    It’s true that all is in the hand of consumer. Ethics or not that’s another issue. Did we lower our rentals? Did we ask for less salary now that petrol is cheaper? Whatever condition we are in just keep to our budget. All else are market forces.

    1. It is ok to increase the price as inflation is a factor to drive the cost higher, however, when you increase the price, the expectation has to be increased as well, for instance, contain of the drink has to be slightly increased or service need to be improved.
      Generally, I feel that it is an ethic issue and those issue need to be controlled, if you want to run the business, it is good to be the right way. otherwise, it makes no difference to robbery.

      1. Haha.. Ang, somehow I like the word ‘robbery’ a lot. 🙂

    2. Hi runs and roses, I think what Ang meant was that when food prices were increased, the shops justified it with petrol price increase. Since that was their justification, then if petrol prices are down, they should do the same adjustment too. Our usual yearly increment or bonus has always been based on performance and never how high or low the petrol prices. cheers.

  4. Hi Chialih,
    Thank you, you are right.

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