Free Enterprise or Bottomless Greed?

Free enterprise is one of the best things that happened to India in the last decade. The government had progressively reduced its hold on various sectors, allowing private investment to flow in. This has moved focus from the service per se to customer-service. It is no longer sufficient that you provide the service; it is even more important how the customer perceives the value of that service.

The downside of this is that people are becoming so used to being charged for everything that they no longer think about what it is that they are paying for.

For instance, Hyderabad is home to Prasad’s Multiplex. A fine complex, with 5 very good screens, one of them being the IMAX screen. What surprises me however is that they charge their patrons for parking. We are talking about the most expensive theatre complex in Hyderabad. The tickets here are twice the cost of tickets at other theatres in the city. But they still charge the patrons for parking their vehicles. These are people who will spend money at the complex, and yet the management does not think it worth to provide them with free parking.

Apart from being a sheer display of greed, it is also a clear violation of the laws of the city. This blatant violation is done openly, and they even issue tickets for the payment you make. Imagine the audacity, they provide you with proof of their crime.

An even worse scenario awaits you if you visit Kamineni Hospital at L.B. Nagar. A visit to a hospital is at the best of times a daunting task. Walk into any hospital today and they first ask you to register yourself. At Apollo it is Rs. 50, at Kamineni it is Rs. 150. Next, irrespective of the hospital you are asked to undergo set of standard tests that set you back by Rs. 2000. That is just the basic tests; everything that you touch from there onwards costs in some multiple of thousand. After all this when you come out to the parking lot to take your car, up walks a shabby looking thug who demands Rs. 10 as parking charges.

How deep can greed run?

Pretty deep is what I am guessing.


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