There has long been a practice of offering the same pair of spectacle frames as well as prescription glasses for a high price to one customer and a low price to another – based on the shopkeeper’s assessment of the buyer’s financial status. I have seen this in operation myself.
I was at an ophthalmologist’s clinic, and like most small clinics in India, he had a set apart a section of his premises as a shop for selling prescription glasses, eyeglass frames and lenses. As I waited for my appointment with the doctor, in front of me I saw the shop assistant show a prospective customer from the lower strata of society a pair of eyeglass frames. The price?$10.
I came back for my next appointment at the eye doctor and, having gotten my prescription, was looking for new frames myself. The same assistant showed me some samples. Among which was the same pair of frames I remembered her showing before. When I said that these must be for $10, the assistant looked at her colleague, who came up and told me no, they were for $30 Surprised, I said that I had seen the frames being offered to another customer for $10. The salesman insisted that I was mistaken, because they did not have any frames for below $20 at all! I stood there shocked for a moment, and then decided that I was not going to be a victim of this dual-pricing policy anymore, and would take my business online. There at least, there is no discrimination based on your clothes, or on the fact that you came in a car or on a bus. We are all equal on the internet, at least when it comes to shopping of prescription glasses.