The thing with these small details is that their effects accumulate. Bell Canada is charging me for a phone that never worked properly, but, so the company points out to me, in its multi-pages of illegible small-print contract they warned me that they might not offer reception where I actually need it, and also that I have no reason to assume they'd be able to guarantee reception in the GTA, the Greater Toronto Area. Makes sense, doesn't it? Mobile phone reception in Toronto, what a stupid idea! Anyhow, so there I'm paying a monthly fee for a non-functioning phone.
At Queen's, where I work, the outside company that sells food in our cafeterias takes staff and students for a ride in truly breathtaking ways (try York University's cafeterias as a comparison if you don't believe me). Recently they charged for an absolutely mediocre sandwich (white cheapest ever toast bread, tuna) 3,99 C$ + tax. Seriously, producing this sandwich probably cost 40 cents or thereabouts. My complaint remained unanswered, of course. Talking about a captive audience!
And the list goes on and on and on. The big thread is that businesses get away with the proverbial murder in so many different ways. In the restaurant the proprietor knows full-well that many guests like a coffee after their meal, so they'll gulp when they discover the price tag, and cough up the cash. Given that most are tourists anyway, who cares how they feel about having been ripped off. As to Bell, the company knows that it is one of the most widely reviled companies in Canada (right up there with Air Canada and similarly customer hating outfits), so it doesn't care either what people think of it. It's all about milking customers in the short-term, at nearly all cost. Well, and our cafeteria, I'm trying to reduce y exposure to it as good as I can as they don't deserve my business.
I wonder whether this business conduct makes medium- to long-term business sense. I am not even talking business ethics here, just business sense. These organizations surely hurt themselves over time more than their individual disgruntled customers. I have since withdrawn all my business from Air Canada, and come the end of my contract, in my life-time Bell won't get me back as a customer. As to Ottawa's Fish Market. You got to be kidding...