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Would You Feel Cheated?


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Poll: Would You Feel Cheated? (42 member(s) have cast votes)

What is your reaction to this news?

  1. The kid is charging too much, I should get a discount (1 votes [2.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.38%

  2. I've been happy with the work thusfar, so nothing changes (41 votes [97.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 97.62%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 594

Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

Out of curiosity I felt like getting the communities opinion on the following hypothetical situation. Please respond instinctively (try to answer right after reading the question) before trying to rationalize it.

Say you are a skilled worker, and you have a good paying job that pays you 40$ an hour, even though you do have a good job it is still hard at times to get by. You are also a home-owner who routinely has to do his/her lawn. Say it takes you one hour to mow the lawn.
I'm a neighborhood kid trying to make a couple of bucks and I offer to mow your lawn for 10$ dollars, you find this to be a good deal since your hour is worth more then 10$ so you agree to pay me. You are never there to witness me mowing your law, but you are always content with my work so you continue to hire me since you feel you are getting a great bargain.
Time passes by and you find out that I actually have a large slew of customers in which I'm able to do 8 lawns per hour making the equivalent of 80$ per hour, you have no idea how its possible that I can even reach that many customers but I do somehow someway.

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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18831

Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:38 PM

I know how large my yard is, and I know about how long it takes. It takes about the same time for me, or for my wife, and it takes about 1.5x as long for my kids to mow.

If you have some method of making the work faster, more power to you.

If you sub-contract that out to somebody else I WOULD be concerned because I hired you to do the work, not let the work out to another. That in itself gets into a messy contracting legal issue, far beyond the scope of this kind of thread.


It is the same thing for most services, not just yard care.

I will give a tip to a restaurant server based on the service I received, not based on how many tables they are waiting. If they somehow manage to provide quality service to many tables at once then by all means they deserve the money they receive; it is much more likely that the quality of service is inversely proportional to the number of tables, but if they figured out some way to do more with less then let them have the reward.
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#3 capn_midnight   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1375

Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:52 PM

The nature of trade is such that both parties come out ahead in the deal. Trade that is not mutually beneficial isn't trade, it's theft or fraud of some kind. The utility that the home-owner gains from not having to mow the lawn does not depend on how that lawn gets mowed. The home-owner is not paying for the sweat off the kid's back (or, at least, I sure hope not), but to be free of having to mow the lawn.

There is no inherent value to labor itself. Labor is a cost. If you dig a whole for an hour and then fill it back up again, you're done probably an hour and a half's worth of labor but created nothing of value. And It does not matter if two identical outcomes were arrived at by two wildly different processes. The difference between the value of the product or service that is rendered and the cost of the process used to create it is "profit".

Knowledge of the profit margin may help the home-owner to try to negotiate a lower rate for the service, because otherwise, the home-owner might decide to start mowing lawns instead.

But it's still not being cheated, not in any sense of the word, because the home-owner is still getting what he paid for: not having to mow the lawn.
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#4 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17046

Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:54 PM

I paid for the job, not the hour. Contractors make a bid for the project you are paying them for, and if they can get the bid down is less time then they estimated, that's fine by me. If they deliberately overestimate in expectation that something might go wrong and slow them down, that's actually beneficial for me, since the time-frame I'm given is the "worst case" scenario.
The only way I'd feel ripped off is if they rushed the job and the quality suffered as a result, or if they missed one or two points that we had agreed upon.
Example: We had some contractors lay a bunch of flooring down recently, and they missed a few pieces of floor trim they were supposed to install that was part of their job. We didn't bother calling them back for it though, because we could install it just as easily ourselves in less than half an hour, and they did a quality job elsewhere on the project, so we want to keep a good working relationship with them for future projects.
However, if they missed trim and did a poor-quality job on the flooring installed, we would demand they return and fix it according to what we agreed to, or else we'd go with some other contractor in the future.

But if the job was done satisfactorily, and the only thing different from the bid is that they got it done in time, but somehow was working on other projects at the same time, that's not my business. The bid was, get x done for y money in z amount of time. If they met those requirements, I don't care if they could've cut z time in half or not, our agreement was for z amount of time (and not z/2), so I'm happy.

Many contractors work on multiple projects simultaneously. Want to know why building highway onramps or re-laying roads take so long? The contractors deliberately stretch out the project three or four times longer than necessary... with full understanding and agreement with the government, to the benefit of both the contractor and the government - the contractor can work on multiple projects at once and, for example, lay asphalt on multiple roads during one asphalt-laying spree or working on more time-critical projects while the weather is right, benefiting the contractor, and the government saves money on the bid by permitting a longer project time than is normally reasonable. Laying a road does not take 3-5 months, it takes 3-4 weeks. The bid, in agreement with both parties, was for an extended time frame (benefiting party A) at less cost (benefiting party B).

With the contractors laying flooring in my house - the same week they were doing that, they were also installing something (I don't know the details of it) at another person's house for another project. The head contractor went there to work on that, and left his two sub-contractors to finish a sub-project he assigned them, and came back four hours later to check over the work. Fine by me! He agreed to get the project finished in a week, and succeeding in doing so. As long as my side of the deal doesn't suffer (costing more than I agreed to, or taking longer than I agreed to, or lesser quality than I agreed to), not only "What right do I have to complain?" but also, why should I even be bothered by that?
Ofcourse I know that if I wanted, I could pay him 50% more to get the entire project done within 24 hours by him working through the night (money motivates), and ofcourse he'd be willing to do so if I paid him 50% or 100% more. But I chose to take his normal bid, and it taking a week doesn't harm me (but it taking 100% more cost to get it done in 24 hours might harm me financially more than I feel the project is worth to me - but it taking a week long is still with the worth of the project to me personally).

We actually did give them some small increase in pay to make sure they got it done in time for family visiting - but that was known in advance and part of the understanding of the bid before the project even began - we paid a little extra to move the beginning of the project forward two weeks, not to shorten the length of the project, but it's the same idea - and all things that need to be nailed down in the initial bid, and a copy of the agreed final bid sent to both parties (by email in our case, but for a more serious project, signed contracts would be better).

Edited by Servant of the Lord, 24 July 2012 - 05:13 PM.

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#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8641

Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:34 PM

Out of curiosity I felt like getting the communities opinion on the following hypothetical situation. Please respond instinctively (try to answer right after reading the question) before trying to rationalize it.

Say you are a skilled worker, and you have a good paying job that pays you 40$ an hour, even though you do have a good job it is still hard at times to get by. You are also a home-owner who routinely has to do his/her lawn. Say it takes you one hour to mow the lawn.
I'm a neighborhood kid trying to make a couple of bucks and I offer to mow your lawn for 10$ dollars, you find this to be a good deal since your hour is worth more then 10$ so you agree to pay me. You are never there to witness me mowing your law, but you are always content with my work so you continue to hire me since you feel you are getting a great bargain.
Time passes by and you find out that I actually have a large slew of customers in which I'm able to do 8 lawns per hour making the equivalent of 80$ per hour, you have no idea how its possible that I can even reach that many customers but I do somehow someway.


I would not feel cheated. All that text you wrote has nothing to do with the mere $10 I paid to have my lawn cut.
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#6 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3177

Posted 25 July 2012 - 01:15 AM

Out of curiosity I felt like getting the communities opinion on the following hypothetical situation. Please respond instinctively (try to answer right after reading the question) before trying to rationalize it.

Say you are a skilled worker, and you have a good paying job that pays you 40$ an hour, even though you do have a good job it is still hard at times to get by. You are also a home-owner who routinely has to do his/her lawn. Say it takes you one hour to mow the lawn.
I'm a neighborhood kid trying to make a couple of bucks and I offer to mow your lawn for 10$ dollars, you find this to be a good deal since your hour is worth more then 10$ so you agree to pay me. You are never there to witness me mowing your law, but you are always content with my work so you continue to hire me since you feel you are getting a great bargain.
Time passes by and you find out that I actually have a large slew of customers in which I'm able to do 8 lawns per hour making the equivalent of 80$ per hour, you have no idea how its possible that I can even reach that many customers but I do somehow someway.


no, why would I?, who cares what the kid does, so long as he get's the job done to my satisfaction. Why the customer would bother checking on how much the kid is actually making is surely beyond the scope of what he should be caring about. If you walked into a game store, and knew that the store makes ~5k a day profit(idk, just pulling it out of thin air), would you demand they sell you a 60$ game, at 50$, simply because they have made a bit of money at an established price point?
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#7 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27506

Posted 25 July 2012 - 03:52 AM

I'm a neighborhood kid trying to make a couple of bucks and I offer to mow your lawn for 10$ dollars, you find this to be a good deal since your hour is worth more then 10$ so you agree to pay me.

How does this go down?
1) Oh, it would take me an hour to mow it myself. Here, have a quarter of what my time saving is worth to myself. A flat $10 for a good result sounds fair!
2) Ok, how's $10/h sound? Give me an invoice of the hours worked. Wait, this invoice is full of lies; you say you worked 1 hour, but only worked 15 minutes!

Agreeing to pay $10 for a fixed result (based on your own ideas of value and personal time saved) is completely different to agreeing to pay $10/h (and being given an inflated invoice).

Edited by Hodgman, 25 July 2012 - 04:32 AM.


#8 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 594

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:36 AM

The thing is I see a lot of people on the internet (I should probably stop visiting those sites) griefing over executives being paid so much money. But if these executives weren't known for being paid so well would they still complain?
It reminds me of something that happened in ultimate-guitar.com a while back. They developed a slew of new apps for people to learn some of their favorite songs, obviously they had to hire some developers and acquire some rights to certain music, this obviously costed them $$$. So they announced on the frontpage, that they were adding new features that costed in the range of 3$ to 5$ (they were not removing any old features). The community was in uproar! out of 100 comments 95% of them were bashing ultimate-guitar for being money hungry, the other 5% understood that they put in work for these new products and should be compensated appropriately.

So basically this poll in general is to try to better understand peoples mindset when it comes to fair pricing. Is it because people feel they are entitled to more then other people? Is it because they are feeling cheated? Me personally I feel like im in the 5% so I cant understand what makes the other 95% outraged at being charged, I pay for my music, I pay for my software (as much as it might pain me sometimes) because I understand that developers arent cheap, services cost money, and peoples time have value.

Edited by The_Neverending_Loop, 25 July 2012 - 09:38 AM.


#9 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17046

Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:37 AM

So basically this poll in general is to try to better understand peoples mindset when it comes to fair pricing. Is it because people feel they are entitled to more then other people? Is it because they are feeling cheated?


It confuses me how many people complain about the prices of iPhone apps, "What do you mean it costs more than $1, you monster?! Clearly your RPG that took a year to develop should cost the same as that fart application someone knocked together in 24 hours."

Yet those same people actually own iPhones in the first place, which they get tricked into paying $1500 for, on top of their already bloated $1400 phone bill. Regular bloated phone bill, plus an extra $40 a month for a not-unlimited data plan (equaling $940 in data fees over a two year contract), plus $200 or $300 (originally $500+) for the phone itself.

People gripe about the big business fees ($60 for a new game, monthly online fees, and poor DLC practices? That's just as stupid as the $1 app pricing), but pay up anyway because it's cool and popular and convenient, but then rob and vocally lambaste the small business people, because they have the power to.

[This post was not written from an iPhone]

Edited by Servant of the Lord, 25 July 2012 - 10:37 AM.

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#10 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:20 AM

It confuses me how many people complain about the prices of iPhone apps, "What do you mean it costs more than $1, you monster?! Clearly your RPG that took a year to develop should cost the same as that fart application someone knocked together in 24 hours."

Worth noting for me at least is that it costing more than $1 isn't a dealbreaker, it's the fact that it costs more than $1 and I have no guarantees of quality. There are a couple solid sites for mobile reviews, but not all apps get reviewed, and not all of them get reviewed with serious depth. The customer reviews section can be helpful, but it's fairly common for customer reviews to pad games favorably early on due to marketing firms publishing artificial reviews.

I think that's my largest problem with all mobile stores right now. I had no problem throwing down $7 to play Infinity Blade 2 on my friend's iPad/apple account/whatever, because I knew what to expect.

#11 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1827

Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:18 PM

A "fair" price is the one that everybody else gets. It seems to me that the majority of people don't like feeling as though other people are paying less than they are and jump at the chance to get something for a lower price than others. It's part of the same mentality that drives people to sales in stores to buy products they wouldn't ordinarily buy. A sense of feeling smarter than the idiots that paid full price. And then the flip side of that is feeling stupid because you see or hear about someone else that paid less. Some people then go on to rationalize their choices based on product quality or convenience. Others complain loudly because they've learned that when they do people give them a cookie to shut up and go away.

#12 Moe   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1248

Posted 25 July 2012 - 01:58 PM

If you have some method of making the work faster, mower power to you.

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#13 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2131

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:53 PM

The thing is I see a lot of people on the internet (I should probably stop visiting those sites) griefing over executives being paid so much money. But if these executives weren't known for being paid so well would they still complain?


So how does that analogy compare to what price you are prepared to pay someone else?

In your initial example, I agreed to a fixed price for a service. As long as that service is carried out satisfactorily, I don't care how much profit the business makes.

People "griefing" over executive pay are doing so for good reasons. The majority of the executives that people are complaining about brought about the current economic crisis through some very dodgy business practices, and people quite rightly question why their governments are subsidising the exorbitant rates the executives are paid.

A closer analogy would be that the neighbourhood kid used to charge you $10 an hour, but now he charges $500 an hour and burns your house down while he's at it.
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#14 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4496

Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:30 AM

People "griefing" over executive pay are doing so for good reasons. The majority of the executives that people are complaining about brought about the current economic crisis through some very dodgy business practices, and people quite rightly question why their governments are subsidising the exorbitant rates the executives are paid.

A closer analogy would be that the neighbourhood kid used to charge you $10 an hour, but now he charges $500 an hour and burns your house down while he's at it.

... and, before burning down your house, drinks your beer and loses your TV in a poker game :)

About "fair price", I agree with what was said above about service and quality of service versus time. You want your lawn mowed and you don't want to do it yourself. Kid provides lawn mowing service agreement for $10.

As long as kid mows lawn on the agreed day according to specifications (to a height of 4.3mm +/- 0.05mm, and all grass blades facing Mecca), contract is considered fulfilled. It does not matter whether it takes him 5 mins or the entire afternoon to do that.

#15 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1483

Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:14 PM

I would rather care that the mowing is done properly and that I can afford for it, I really wouldn't care how it's done. After all, I'm paying for the mowing, not for having some kid work. If anything, good for him for being better at business than me :v

Better question: why would I be letting a kid do this? =P (although I suppose there's a big difference between some young kid and a late teen who's almost adult)
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#16 Koobazaur   Members   -  Reputation: 687

Posted 28 July 2012 - 02:28 PM

We agreed to $10 per lawn mowed, not $10 per hour, so time doesn't even factor into the equation. The trade is fair.

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#17 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:02 PM

People "griefing" over executive pay are doing so for good reasons. The majority of the executives that people are complaining about brought about the current economic crisis through some very dodgy business practices, and people quite rightly question why their governments are subsidising the exorbitant rates the executives are paid.

I'm not sure I agree. I find people are generally upset with the upper class and executives in general. The vast majority of whom have nothing to do with the current economic crisis aside from not being the first people to get laid off.

Maybe the majority of your friends who are complaining complain about more specific executives, but I think generalizing that to everybody complaining is not accurate. I've had plenty of arguments with people who generalize CEOs as terrible people regardless of how good they are at their job, how ethical they are, how much they risk, or how much they get paid.

#18 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2131

Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:21 PM


People "griefing" over executive pay are doing so for good reasons. The majority of the executives that people are complaining about brought about the current economic crisis through some very dodgy business practices, and people quite rightly question why their governments are subsidising the exorbitant rates the executives are paid.

I'm not sure I agree. I find people are generally upset with the upper class and executives in general. The vast majority of whom have nothing to do with the current economic crisis aside from not being the first people to get laid off.

Maybe the majority of your friends who are complaining complain about more specific executives, but I think generalizing that to everybody complaining is not accurate. I've had plenty of arguments with people who generalize CEOs as terrible people regardless of how good they are at their job, how ethical they are, how much they risk, or how much they get paid.


Well, I did say "the majority of the executives that people are complaining about". I'm sure there are plenty of CEOs out there who are ethical, good at their job and generally pretty nice guys. That said I do not believe anyone is worth 380 times the pay of the average worker.
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#19 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 594

Posted 01 August 2012 - 04:16 PM

That said I do not believe anyone is worth 380 times the pay of the average worker.


Im 50/50 with that statement. In a situation where I'm the CEO or founder of a company with ~1000 employees, if I'm taking in 380 the average workers pay, then something is not right. But if I'm the CEO of a company that has around 100,000 employees then 380 times the pay does not seem that bad.

Also for highly skilled individuals, there is no actual replacing them, if you take 380 average physicist they are not going to give you the same results that say one Einstein or on Maxwell will give. Say its the 1800's and I need a Horse that can Travel 38mph in order to deliver the mail on time, no matter how many average horses I tie together they are not going to hit that limit unless I pony up and pay for the top of the line breed.

#20 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27506

Posted 01 August 2012 - 09:01 PM

That said I do not believe anyone is worth 380 times the pay of the average worker.

This is a social problem -- modern societies with greater financial inequality have more crime, bigotry, intolerance, etc -- and high executive pay is just a symptom of those unequal societies. So people complaining about CEO remuneration are really just upset with their society. They should vote with their feet and move to Finland ;-P

Also for highly skilled individuals, there is no actual replacing them, if you take 380 average physicist they are not going to give you the same results that say one Einstein or on Maxwell will give.

But at the same time, giving that individual 380 loaves of bread when 379 other people are starving is a strange way of rewarding their uniqueness.

Edited by Hodgman, 01 August 2012 - 09:02 PM.





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