Monday, October 22, 2012

Some Things Don't Translate this case I'm referring to good prices, and a certain slogan that assures me I can have things my way. Perhaps that is old school. Have things changed that much in six years? Then again, it could just be good ol' fashioned highway robbery. You be the judge.

Living in a place where you are hard-pressed to find home flavors can drive people to certain lengths (as I alluded to in my previous post). In my case, it drives me to occasionally eating fast food — fast food that is considered chic in a place where it isn't all that common. This can come with a hefty price tag, depending on where you go. On those days where I'd give a portion of my left pinky to taste something reminiscent of home, I think it's worth it.

On those days where I see a blatant disregard for the fact that the minimum monthly wage here is R$600, and someone is trying to charge people R$8.50 for less than (when you factor in ice — I measured it) a 10 oz cup of watered down soda [when you can by a 2.5 liter of coke for R$5-6 at any convenience store] ...I get peeved.

At first, I attributed it to some foreign company that doesn't have a clue about the cost of living here. ...but that can't be right, can it? Of course, how could anyone living here also live with their conscience, if they know that this is grossly overcharging people for a drink [thereby excluding a large portion of the population]? I know I couldn't do it.

All I know is that THIS is not right:

What's wrong with this picture? (Other than the gum that I wadded into this receipt out of disgust before deciding to rant online about it. Sorry about that!)

Please right-click and open in a new window to enlarge.

So if it was that expensive... why did I pay for it, and not stop by a convenience store?

Three reasons:
  1. I mistakenly heard a different total (trusty drive-thru intercoms), otherwise I would have amended it before I rounded the building, where my drink was already sticking out of the window. You see, they weren't finished making my burger, and I didn't want any extra "secret" ingredient.

  2. Unlike my hometown, convenience stores aren't all that easy to find, and with all of the one way streets in this town, it is actually anything but convenient. I thought about calling them not-quite-convenience stores, but that has a somewhat negative ring to it.

  3. I was starving, thirsty, and exhausted enough to not want to walk any extra step that I absosmurfly did not have to.
Although flagrant price gouging could be the norm for the other international fast food chains that are starting to pop up here, the prices are typically much, much less. I'm assuming that's because they want to achieve some measure of succe$$ with the population as a whole.

This is by far the worst case I've seen, yet. Other competitors such as McDonald's and Subway charge less than half of what was charged here (for the same size drink) making it a more affordable option for the masses.

I hope that the powers that be somewhere see this, and reign in their overcharging minions. I suspect they will see an increase in revenue, as more of the everyday people will be able to afford it.

I also suspect that they will need to invest in marketing that informs people that the idea of having a meal here is now more realistic for the average João.

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