The much-criticized recall of more than 2 million vehicles for ignition-switch and air-bag problems has resulted in a record fine for the automaker, the Department of Transportation says.
When Groucho Marx once said, "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member," he might've been talking about a recent study: “Should the Devil Sell Prada? Retail Rejection Increases Aspiring Consumers' Desire for the Brand. Customers are more likely to buy luxury goods from rude, snooty, or aloof salespeople.
When it comes to high-end goods, we want what we can't have, and a salesperson with a bad attitude only adds to the air of exclusivity.
Darren Dahl, professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business, co-authored the study and says that the outcomes were based on a number of factors.
“…[I]t only really works if you aspire to the brand. So, if it’s something that you want and you don’t have. For the consumers that are regular luxury shoppers, this effect doesn’t happen,” Dahl says.
Another factor in whether or not a customer is swayed by rude customer service is the salesperson’s appearance.
“[The effect] also doesn’t happen if the salesperson doesn’t match the brand. If someone is selling Prada or Burberry and they don’t look like they should be there themselves, you don’t get that effect. You only react if someone truly represents the brand,” Dahl says.
Scarcity and exclusivity are two major components of persuasion psychology, but Dahl says that there is more behind the findings.
“When you come into a store and salespeople give you a dirty look, or they ignore you, or they essentially make you feel like maybe you’re not in the right store, if you as a consumer really want that brand, it’s kind of challenge. [That’s] the way people looked at it and said, ‘Hey, I can afford that and I’m going to show you’,” he says.
In the end, Dahl says that good customer service is always the best way to go.
For one, non-luxury stores see no benefit from having rude salespeople, as the study showed that customers were not more likely to buy goods from a store that isn’t considered aspirational or prestigious.
Also according to the study, people who initially felt driven to purchase from the snobby salesperson had, what Dahl calls, a boomerang effect.
“In the moment, you react and take the challenge and say I’m going to buy that product. But after you get home [and} you’ve been thinking about the experience … it actually turns out that you dislike the brand and the experience much more than the average person,” he says.
Have you ever been treated poorly by a sales associate? How did you react? Email us or Tweet at us @LiveMoney
After you've divvied up your income between rent, mortgage, car payment and other big ticket items, what's the biggest expense in your budget?
If you're like most Americans, it's food.
Between grocery bills, restaurants, and the Monday morning coffee run, the cost of food can add up.
And food prices are steadily on the rise with meat, eggs and dairy taking the lead. Last year's devastating drought, coupled with a nasty virus in the nation's hog population all contributed to higher prices at the grocery store.
Kristin Wong, a personal finance writer with the Lifehacker blog 'Two Cents', stopped into the Marketplace Money studio to share a few tips about how to get our food spending under control.
Find protein that's cheap, not steep
With hamburgers and pork chops taking a bigger bite out of your grocery bill, Wong recommends giving less expensive forms of protein like tofu a second glance.
"Not everybody has the palate for tofu, but if you do it's a really good cost effective way you can eat."
Focus on in season produce
Stocking up on cheap, healthy staples like sweet potatoes, potatoes and lentils is another way to pad out your dinner plate.
"You can get a lot of produce that's on sale and in season and you can freeze it and use it when it's not in season," she says.
But, Wong says, meal planning is where the real savings come in. She says a fellow blogger turned her on to a technique called the Inverted Pyramid Method that allows you to plan an entire weeks worth of meals around one or two big recipes.
"They'll plan out one or two really big meals then they'll plan the rest of their meals for the week based on the leftover ingredients from the one or two big meals," she says. "It's a cool strategy because you're avoiding food waste, which is what this all boils down to. That's the main thing you don't want to do when you're on a budget."
Mix and match
And if you're just not sure what to make with a hodge podge of leftover ingredients? That's where a website called Supercook comes in handy.
"You can put in whatever you have in your pantry and it will compile recipes for you. And you can even highlight the ingredient that you want to focus on, so if you have extra tofu you can highlight that and all these recipes will pop up with tofu as the main ingredient."
Three large and still mostly uncontained fires have burned thousands of acres in San Diego County, according to local media.