Sweet price, Bitter quality

I often encounter people who deal only with false promises and a lot of people fall for it and yet take it easy as if it is normal.

Consider the following scenario.

There are two tailors who have setup shops side by side, during the festive season you go to store ‘A’ and request to tailor your suit in a week which is made of very expensive cloth. The tailor informs that due to the workload you will not be able to get the suit in a week but in about 10 days which is cutting too close to the day of the festival. In the past this tailor has delivered with good quality on promised dates but this is too close for you to take a call.

So you visit store ‘B’ where they also have a similar workload and backlog but promise to deliver to you within 5 days. They cost a little bit less and you are happy with the deal. 5 days later you turn up to collect your suit and you are in for a shock that the cloth has not yet been put in the queue for cutting and stitching. After losing your cool and talking to various people who play bad and good cop finally you are promised to get the delivery in another 5 days. 

5 days later, you have to be ready for the event in the evening so you drop by the tailor to collect your suit. You notice that the tailor is still stitching in a hurried manner and makes you wait for a few hours before giving it to you. On getting the suit you notice that it has a lot of glitches like double seams, improper creasing, misaligned pocket flaps etc. Only a few of them gets somehow masked and you end up late for the event in a spoiled suit. 

After the event you take it to Store ‘A’ and they tell you that they can fix it but it will take 10 more days and cost the same as a new suit as there are extensive repairs to save the expensive cloth. You reluctantly agree and at the end of 10 days you are surprised with on time delivery and the quality of the suit. You leave the place with a regret that you did not place the order with Store ‘A’. 

The scenario is similar at all levels even where the deals run into millions. The lure of a sweet price is so much that no one takes a look at the feasibility. Only in some cases the person making the deal is the same person getting the bad quality; but most of the cases the person making the deal gets good benefits for the sweet deals and the brunt is borne by someone else often many steps down the ladder. This leaves no room for direct observation and hence the feedback loop is never closed; the sweet deals and bitter quality output keeps going on rounds. 

One of my friends tweeted this recently

The bitterness of poor quality lingers much longer after the sweetness of a cheap deal has disappeared. 

Image courtesy: rawpixel on Unsplash

One thought on “Sweet price, Bitter quality

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