The art of Brexploitation

Did you get it yet?

You know, the one thing you didn’t wish for during this season of goodwill – the price hike.

“We’re sorry to inform you that next year, owing to [insert reason], we have regrettably been forced to raise our rates.”

A butterfly flaps its wings in Timbuktu and next thing you know, the price of a new car has shot through the roof. You sit there wondering how the hell these two facts are related and it slowly dawns on you that while some companies thrive in times of uncertainty, others are just waiting for an opportunity to stick it to you and make you feel even less positive about the future of the human race.

It’s fine; we all understand that companies need to make a profit. Profit is good, but excessive and unwarranted profit isn’t.

There is a big difference between making an honest profit, which can be defined as the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something, and profiteering, which is defined as a person or company who makes or seeks to make an excessive or unfair profit.

Martin Shkreli is the poster child for this type of opportunistic, screw-you profiteering. The now infamous “entrepreneur and pharmaceutical exec” obtained the manufacturing license for the antiparasitic drug Daraprim and raised its price by a factor of 56, leading him to be referred to by media as the “most hated man in America”.

And Shkreli is just one of thousands of profiteers who prey on the unsuspecting public with the aim of making a quick few million.

How about educational book publishers who collude to fix the prices of books that are essential to completing a qualification? That’s a quick lesson to learn for the future generation. Why don’t we all become educational book publishers when we graduate?

For women, there’s the feminine hygiene issue. Why are these products so expensive? Because we allow these companies to get away with it with barely a whimper from the buying public. We just put up and shut up.

Admittedly, the pharmaceutical industry is the champ of price gouging or profiteering. Cancer drugs that help to prolong the life of a patient get exponentially higher, the more desperate the end user. Over here in the UK, Pfizer has just earned the wrath of the consumer watchdog for gouging the NHS for its epilepsy drug Epanutin – and there’s a big fine coming for them next year.

But there are some great examples closer to home, or work.

How about Brexploitation? Microsoft recently announced that the price of its Azure cloud service was going up 22% from January.

22%.

For cloud services.

Their justification?

“Microsoft is announcing British pound changes to harmonise its prices for enterprise software and cloud services within the EU/ European Free Trade Agreement region.”

Really. Hmm.

Do I have an option?

No, not really. Well you do have one, just bend over…

Most of the major IT hardware players have raised their prices recently including HPE, HP, Dell, Fujitsu, Asus, and Lenovo.

And then there’s Unilever sticking it to millions of loyal British consumers of Marmite by blaming the devaluation of the pound for an increase in price, which is interesting, given that it’s a British-made product. Too many companies are jumping on the bandwagon and using the flimsiest of excuses to feather their nests.

But not us.

At Wiles Greenworld Systems, we love profit but we know we’ve got to work hard to earn your trust and your budget and in uncertain times, you can depend on us to do the right thing.

You will be a rich person in 2017 if you get £1 for every time someone used Brexit, or Trump, or the Dollar/Pound/Euro exchange rate as a reason for increased prices.

But we refuse to be drawn into this charade. If you have been exposed to a Brexploitative price rise on your office supplies or hardware, then you should come and talk to us.

You won’t find any creative budget hike excuses, just simple, down-to-earth pricing and a quality service because to us, every penny has to be earned.


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