Monday, September 3, 2012

Gender-pricing discrimination

The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs is on the case, the WSJ reports: City Nails Sex-Based Pricing.

Among the targets are salons that charge men and women differently for manicures and haircuts. But are those really the same products?

""It's ridiculous. I have some guys who need to come in every two weeks," said Ania Siemieniaka, the owner of Freckle Skin and Hair, which had to pay $175 for a violation. "If I raise my prices, I'll lose all my male customers."

"The city's Department of Consumer Affairs began stepping up enforcement of the law last year, when it issued 580 gender-pricing violations to businesses, more than double the 212 doled out the year before.

"We wanted to really send a strong message to businesses about this kind of illegal pricing, so we did a very focused sweep over the course of the year," said the department's commissioner, Jonathan Mintz. "That sweep was largely targeted at salons and barbershops and laundry and dry cleaning."

"Nearly all of the violations were the result of sweeps rather than complaints, said Mr. Mintz, because businesses and industry groups weren't correcting the practice on their own."

Here are earlier posts on a related topic: "Girl taxi" and "Ladies Nights", and The wheels of justice and Ladies' Nights

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