Tag Archives: Business Ethics

Honolulu Car Rental Price Gouging

I got an email about this from my friend in Hawaii. It seems with the return of tourism to Oahu (which had been down 90% for almost the entire pandemic), that the demand for rental cars has gone through the roof compared to availability.

No doubt the car rental offices were selling off their fleets to help cover operating costs during the pandemic. Now that it’s ended, their short sighted move has caught them flat footed. In typical predatory capitalism fashion they’ve decided to charge over $700 a DAY for basic rentals and over $1000 if you want a convertible:

$1,000 a day to rent a car? Low supply, surging demand are pushing up prices in Hawaii (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Normally, I’m quite pro-capitalism. I understand that TO A DEGREE, supply and demand are going to factor into cost. Doing so covers the cost of increasing the supply to meet demand.

HOWEVER… Where do we draw the line in this kind of instance? Where does the law of supply and demand become predatory capitalism? I’m not sure I have an EXACT answer there, BUT, 10x the normal going rate would seem to be across that line. We rented a Mustang GT convertible a year and a half ago for our honeymoon and only paid $100 a day, which is still pricey compared to most other locations.

Wouldn’t an ethical business simply go out and buy some cars from local dealerships to increase their fleet size? At $100 a day rental rate, the car loan note can be paid for on 5 days of rental per month.

Just because you CAN do something doesn’t make it right. Look at the price hikes on insulin as another example. Somewhere along the lines the idea of business ethics got flushed and replaced with the SHORT SIGHTED idea that the only duty a business had was to provide as much short term profit as possible to it’s investors. If one has NO ability to ponder consequences, that sounds great also. In the long term though, it destroys a business’s reputation and customer loyalty. Look at Banks and Airlines as two other examples. They’re both hated.

Worse, these greedy businesses are only fueling the call for Socialism or outright Communism by people who don’t understand these are even worse alternatives.

Scrivener Update / Rant

What seems like centuries ago, I did a post with some brief impressions of the Scrivener writing software.

Part of my reasons for the earlier review being fairly positive was that buyers were promised a free upgrade to version 3.0. That version has been out for Apple products for some time. It has a MUCH cleaner, more professional looking user interface. Some new features, and 64 bit architecture also, which means performance should be much faster since it call use ALL of a newer PC’s resources.

Well, as it turns out… Literature and Latte has apparently been promising said upgrade for nearly three years now. They’ve failed to meet multiple promised release dates, and have had almost nothing to say on the project. Well, beyond that converting source code from Apple to Windows is HARD! anyway. 😥🙄

The irony here is that I was looking for an alternative to M$ Office because I felt I was being ripped off by Microsoft for never being able to reinstall a copy if I have a drive go bad or upgraded. NOW, it looks like L&L has been playing a game of misrepresentation and false advertising of it’s own to boost sales.

Strangely enough, to me anyway, this has divided the user base quite a bit. Some are perfectly happy with more clunky version 1.9 and say that L&L doesn’t owe anybody anything. I’d argue they owe what they advertised and promised to their paying customers.

If you went into a restaurant, and ordered a nice meal, but only got the main course… Your sides and drink were ignored no matter how much you asked when they were coming… Would you STILL pay for the full meal just because the steak was adequate? Would you pay full price for a car without tires and rims just because you like the rest of it, even though you were promised it come with wheels?

In my opinion, this is yet another example of how capitalism has gone off the rails. Fifty years ago, business was done on a handshake, and your word was your bond. NOW, it’s “Screw it, and the contract, I don’t feel like it”.

Whatever happened to ethics and integrity? Oh yeah…

Cynical, and a tiny bit melodramatic? Perhaps, but nothing is made worth a damned anymore, and businesses pull things like L&L did all the time also.

End of rant though.

Bottom line, AT BEST I can only be neutral on recommending Scrivener anymore. It has a learning curve as bad as MS Office, and is only better organized if you don’t understand how MS Office interconnects nowadays. The price is better however. If you’re using a PC, you just have to be OK with being lied to and getting less than you paid for.

Personally, I’m starting to look into the alternatives to Scrivener, like The Novel Factory. We work too hard for what little we have here to be cheated by companies.