The receptionist said, "This time it's $220, because of these two first time charges. Your next appointment will only be $90."
"Okay." I replied.
It was a different receptionist the second time. "That will be three-hundred-and-twenty-eight dollars," she said, sliding the credit card from my fingers.
"Why is it 328?" I asked.
She flipped to a second page and said, "Because of the tea."
We had talked about the tea.
My practitioner had said, during the first visit, "Next time I'm going to make you some tea."
I thought I'd be drinking a cuppa. I didn't think about the price, because the cost of tea is not a big thing in my budget. If I go to Trader Joe's and see something new, I flip it into my cart without considering cost. If I get lured into Teavanna in the mall, I've been known to walk out with a tin of matte vanna. I was not expecting tea to be $238.
It isn't that I couldn't afford $238.
And, it isn't that I wasn't willing to spend $238.
I've learned, while processing this, it's a trust issue.
- Did she think that I would never know the cost? Of course not.
- Did she think I couldn't afford it? All the more reason she should have told me.
- Does she consider me so financially secure - or naive - that I wouldn't notice? Not a compliment.
Had my practitioner said "I'm going to formulate a tea, especially for you, that will address these symptoms. It will be express mailed to you, and will cost about $250," I would have felt special. I would have said "Thank you," I would have been grateful.
Now I wonder what else she isn't telling me.
Researchers on referrals have long known that talking about price generates referrals. Now I'm wondering if it's because talking dollars increases credibility, which is an essential component for referrals.
What are you thinking?
Photo courtesy of francois schnell
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