Why Not Just Post The Price, Juice It Up?

Categories: Really?!?!?
juiceitup.jpg
Dave Lieberman
Click on the picture to the right. How many sizes of smoothie do they sell at Juice It Up in the Stadium Lofts in Anaheim?

Did you guess "two", as I did when I went in today to get a smoothie?

Wrong. They sell THREE sizes; the advertised 24 oz. and 32 oz. sizes, and a smaller 16 oz. size, just like their chief competitor, Jamba Juice. This was confirmed when I looked at the sample cup display near the cash register. Three cups.

The difference is that Jamba Juice actually posts the prices for all three sizes on their menu boards.

I don't like upsells that force me to opt out to get what I want. I don't like the Great Restaurant Water Ripoff ("Sparkling or still, sir?"), I don't like the "Medium or large?" question at Carl's Jr., and I don't like clumsy bollocks like this.

It might not have been as bad had the guy working behind the counter had the prices for the 16 oz. drinks handy. This isn't his fault, though, and I didn't make life unpleasant for him--he didn't make the decision to engage in this thinly-veiled profit grab.

Starbucks, incidentally, is most famous for doing this: there's the unadvertised "short" coffee drinks, which are 8 fl. oz. each, two-thirds of the size of the "tall" that Seattle would like you to think is the smallest size. They don't have "short" cups out in the display, though, only "tall", "grande", and "no wonder you're fat". That's still not a valid excuse for the practice, but at least it isn't as blatant as this example.

I'm going to put this very baldly: in my opinion, not publishing your full "tariff" is deceptive marketing. If you're going to sell 16-ounce drinks, post the prices, just like you do with the larger sizes. While I'm no fan of government regulation, it seems like a fair-pricing law such as is on the books in Europe, Hong Kong and Tokyo might be a good idea.

I'm not planning on going back to Juice It Up anytime soon. There's a Jamba Juice at the Block, one across from MainPlace, and another in Downtown Disney. Since this practice is apparently legal, the best way for me to express my displeasure is to vote with my feet.

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