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Why “Rip Off Ireland” will always survive

Firstly, to clarify – I don’t subscribe to the “Rip Off Ireland” club. To my mind, certain things are expensive and there isn’t a whole lot of value for money to be had in Ireland at the moment, but we’re not always being ripped off – we do know the price of things before we buy them. It’s our choice to buy or not.

However, taking the generally accepted line, there are two stories on the go at the moment regarding what some people perceive to be examples of “Rip Off Ireland”. This post on boards.ie talks about the difference between sterling prices and the inflated euro price equivalents on dual priced goods in Dunnes Stores. And this article in yesterdays Sunday Independent refers to similar findings in Marks & Spencers.

The most telling points though, and the reason for the post title is this comment from someone who was quoted in the Sunday Independent article:

A customer who went to buy a cashmere jumper last week found a large colourful sticker on it which set the price in sterling as £49.50. A smaller sticker affixed to the larger one said €85.

It seems most customers were happy to pay this. But one customer queried the Euro price, asking why it was at least €12 above the exchange rate.

“It’s a handling charge” she was told blithely. But the jumper was so nice she went ahead and bought it.

Marks & Spencers will always be able to carry on this practice, as will Dunnes Stores and any other stores that carry on the same practice, as long as Irish customers don’t actually stand for their principles (instead of just talking about them) and keep their money in their pockets.

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