Idiocy as a basis for price discrimination

One good thing about the US these days is that there is usually free internet in hotels (like the connection I am on now). But that doesn’t mean there is an absence of price discrimination. In my hotel in Salt Lake City, you can connect for free but need an Ethernet cable. Either you bring one yourself or the hotel will lend you one for $10 a night.

So there is effectively a $10 charge. But they have set up the connection so that there is clearly an Ethernet cable wired from the connection on the desk in the room to the wall. Unplug that connection and you don’t need to rent or bring a cable.

This is price discrimination based on idiocy. The less you know about such connections the more you pay. Of course, this has a wonderful efficiency. Chances are that if you don’t pass the in-room hidden cable test, you are more likely to need technical support. So the system works efficiency, those people should be more.

One thought on “Idiocy as a basis for price discrimination”

  1. Sounds a bit like the principle on which lotteries work. Customers self select on the basis of their lack of understanding of the laws of probability.


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