I often go out to breakfast on the weekends, and recently started going to a new place.  I was struck by their menu which lists an “extra charge” of 20 cents if you want raisin toast or an English muffin instead of the usual white or wheat toast.

It seems odd to me to make a distinction for such a small amount.  If hardly anyone eats the raisin bread or muffins, it would be a minimal expense to absorb.  If many people choose those options, why not add it to the cost overall for everyone, or add 15 cents and let it even out?

Technology has enabled us to track usage at an ever-growing level of precision.  But just because we know that one person uses something that incrementally costs a bit more, does not mean we automatically need to adjust our pricing structure to account for that distinction. 

Before you add minor fees or charge things on a differential per-unit basis, ask yourself whether the distinction matters.  You may find that the aggravation and accounting cost more than the two dimes.

— beth triplett

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