What is the definition of a “rip-off”?

There’s some serious and interesting discussions going on at the moment on the AskAboutMoney (here and here) forum regarding what’s a suitable definition of a “rip-off”.

I’d have to say that I’d go along with those that take a stricter view of what a rip-off is – more of a sleight of hand approaching dishonesty on the part of a business, rather than something just being expensive – or more expensive that someone would want or expect.

For example, today, I bought cod and chips in a fish and chips place on Liffey street for €8.25. Fair enough, cod can be expensive given the supply issues, but I would be almost certain that I didn’t get cod at all. Pollock is sometimes used as a replacement by some unscrupulous fish and chip shops because it’s still a solid white fish, but much cheaper. It’s easy tell though, as it’s a tougher rubbery chew than cod.

So, if you order cod and chips, but get pollock and chips instead, have you been ripped off? I’d say that this would be considered a “rip-off”.

I bought the food take-away, so didn’t notice until later on and away from the shop. No real point in complaining at this stage in my opinion, but I’ll just avoid the place in future. The chips weren’t that nice anyway.

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