Tuesday, 31 March, 2009

Should there be quality standards in services too?

Can a restaurant take too long to serve you? Can a shop have a complicated, time-wasting billing process? Is charging 2% on credit card payments OK?

There can be two views. Yes, these but correspond to quality standards for products. If its fine to have restrictions in products, and not wait for market forces to reform or ruin wrongdoers, why not have them in services too?

The opposite view is that quality in services would be hard to quantify. Hence, a breach of quality standards should be hard to establish, and punish. Besides, you'll have to combine the CIA, KGB and Gestapo to keep track of the offences. Yet...

Actually, this begs a bigger question: Should illogical be illegal? Should bad business practices, those that can be shown to be counter-productive (to whom?) be banned? On the other hand, how much can outsiders interfere without Marshal Stalin taking over? Shouldn't some businesses be allowed to fail so that others may learn? Failures are the stepping stones to success, etc.

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