Yep. You read that right. One DOLLAR for a plastic cup of water. Official reason: "The cups are expensive."
I'd write a hub about it but I'm too depressed. Now this isn't super-water. It's not bottled. It has no expensive logo. It isn't advertised during the Super Bowl.
This is plain old wah-tur. You can make it condense out of thin air for free if you passed the science class where you build a terarium. It falls out of the sky occasionally. Why, there's oceans of it right next to most of the world's beaches.
But here, in the galactic center of capitalism, where they charge $1.80 for a single (bland, stale, long on cookie, short on chips) chocolate chip cookie, I suppose it looks good on a spreadsheet if you can push those golden 12 ounce cups filled with free through the supply chain. You might even get interviewed on CNBC if you wear a tie and can use the word "paradigm" in a sentence incorrectly.
Capitalism is one thing. This is hostile. I guess standing behind a cash register makes people think they're official and corporate. Well, that or the name tag.
Hahaha!!! Now, that's the right question.
In my place,
local restaurants : plain water costs 0.20cents if you don't buy anything else or free if you buy (say a plate of rice). Add another 0.20cents if you want to add ice cubes
Fast food chains (McD, KFC, Kenney Rogers etc) : Free of Charge (But if you don't buy anything, you will have to suffer the sarcastic staring from the teenage kids behind the counter. Well.
Hotels : (where plain water is in the menu as "sky juice") about RM1 I guess. But mostly, I see there are free flow of plain wate especially if they have buffet type lunch or dinner.
(The exchange rate is USD1=RM3.80)
So, I guess i should say... THANK GOD I AM MALAYSIAN!!!! (At least I do not have to fork out RM3.80, the price I pay for one complete meal, for a glass of sky juice:) )
A coffee shop which probably opened for the specific purpose of being purchased by the Starbucks two stores away in a mall is selling cups of water (8 ounces, not 12 apparently), for $1.00. That's one crisp, green dollar for a cup of water which, if placed outdoors at this very moment would evaporate in roughly four minutes.
Who is buying them? Not this little gray duck. The person in front of me bought a cookie about the size of a business card for $.99 which was carefully placed in a small bag with a very nice corporate logo on it. They even got a receipt. I conducted no business other than to confirm (twice) that they were going to charge $1 for a cup of water.
Five yards away, there is a snack bar type place with a self-serve drink bar with, yep, you guessed it.
Water. Right between the root beer and the orange soda.
So I'm sort of basking in the warm glow of irony as I observe the state of capitalism on this day-before-summer evening. How is everyone else?
Ridiculous. I could imagine charging a nickel to recoup their costs (and then some) but a buck?
Their coffee would have to be pretty damn tasty to overcome expensive cups of water and microscopic cookies.
In the Netherlands, drinking fountains basically don't exist, and no one says (the Dutch equivalent of) bottled water. You ask for "Spa Blauw" (still water) or "Spa Rood" (bubbly), and you pay about $1.50 for it. Your alternative? Dehydration, or twisting your head to drink from a sink (something the frugal Dutch have mastered).
I worked at a local bakery for awhile... I was supposed to charge a quarter for a cup of water... Did I? Not once.
I actually ended up quitting because of how stingy the new owners were. I grew up in the neighborhood... and it used to be a nice family-type store. Got bought a couple years back and turned profit-profit-profit all the way. Then they installed video surveillance (in a neighborhood bakery? puh-lease!)... and I was OUT.
Yeah you never know when someone might snag some extra chocolate sprinkles on their donut.
The Starbucks right next to it is selling their stuff for even higher prices...
In England, it is illegal for any licensed establishment to charge for serving ordinary water to a customer. So you can walk into a pub, ask for a glass of water (not bottled, from the tap), and walk away without paying. Of course, some places will be hard to convince of this, and will claim the cost is to cover the glass it's in. Or they will say that they can't for health and safety reasons, or it simply "doesn't taste nice".
Here's an interesting and semi-authorative article on the subject from the Guardian, from which comes this (edited) quote:
Profit is great.
Business (big or small) and the entrepreneurial spirit have allowed us to have such a high standard of living. In fact, business is at work in hubpages too! Without people clicking on the ads, without advertisers bidding on keywords, without consumers buying we wouldn't be here and we wouldn't enjoy what we do today.
A business can't forcibly make you buy their product. They have to offer something, you as the consumer then decide if what they offer has enough value to justify the price.
Obviously in your case the $1.00 for water was not worth it. So you passed on the offer. You exercised your right as a consumer! If enough people do it they just might change the policy.
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