Adam Smith,an Economist made some observations a long time ago, that I think still apply today.
One of his premises was that a FREE MARKET ECONOMY was in the best interest of Society.
My understanding of a FREE MARKET is that nothing is Free.
The desires and demands of every individual, and the efforts and accomplishments that every individual is willing to make, in an exchange for other goods and services, and the free flow of such goods and services, describes a FREE MARKET.
Any time, any Society and its Members, as Individuals determine what they think is to the best interest of the other Individuals,and not the Individuals on their own, we have a problem.
An important consideration, and fact, is that there may be Certain and Specific Individuals, who have more of a Natural Talent and Greater Intellect, than Others, and that such Individuals may be in a position to have a more positive impact on the Society in which they live.
It may very well be, that without being obvious, there are Leaders who make the determination that certain People of Certain and Specific Talent, can benefit the Greater Society, than others.
Laws and Policies may then be created to promote and protect those identified Gifted People.
The Masses, may not be capable, or interested, in doing what is to the Best Interest of Society, in General.
A Friend, had the experience of visiting a COSTCO Hearing Center to inquire about the Benefit of Hearing Aids.
The COSTCO Hearing Aid Dispenser Employee acted as though they were dispensing Hearing Aids for the Government or on a Pro Bono Basis. One would have thought they were at the Veteran Administration.
The Prospect for the Hearing Aid was grilled about his attitude about wearing hearing aids, and why he didn't have any before now.
The COSTCO Hearing Aid Dispenser acted more like a Clerk whose job was an Order Clerk.
When the Hearing Aid Prospect inquired about how the need of a Hearing Aid was established, he was instructed that it all depended upon the results of a Hearing Test.
Only the Pocketbook, and perhaps the Physical Dexterity of the Potential User, determined what model or type of Hearing Aid fitted.
Having been in Sales for over 50 years, all in the United States, I can only say the Mentality displayed at one COSTCO Hearing Aid Center will never work.
That is, as long as there is a FREE MARKET ECONOMY.
The Hearing Aid Dispenser at COSTCO was very vocal in declaring how they were not on COMMISSION as though that was a positive attribute.
Is She had been on Straight Commission She would have no earnings at all.
Her mentality reminded me of a Union Teamster Member, whose only responsibility was driving the truck.
The only reason that COSTCO could reflect that attitude, regarding Customer Service and Civility, is because they are of the impression that every other Alternative Hearing Aid Provider, is screwing the Consumer so bad, that no matter how bad they treat the Consumer, because of their Perceived Price Advantage, the Consumer has no choice, but to put up with their abuse and ignorance, if you want to save thousands of dollars on the purchase of Hearing Aids.
When Consumers discover they can obtain Competitive Pricing on Hearing Aids, and also receive Treatment, they deserve. and are paying for, COSTCO Hearing Aid Centers will be out of business.
At some point in time, Someone, will offer Hearing Aids at reasonable prices, and provide the services necessary to their successful usage, with Compassion and Appropriate Service, and whoever does that will dominate the Hearing Aid Business.
Effective Competiton, is the Solution to almost any marketing and sales problem.
There is no substitue for appropriate compensation for appropriate service and products.
The Consumer should search all alternatives before falling victim to just PRICE.