My friend Ron Friedmann of Integreon emailed me about my post on price inelasticity (See my post of March 20, 2008.). The original posting discussed three ways that law departments can cope in a world where they cannot raise prices. ”I would add a fourth strategy, namely create a queue. A common way to ration a good or service where price is not easily modified or where there are reasons to keep price constant is to allow a queue to form.
One example is Disney World and other popular theme parks. Rather than price popular rides differentially, they ration supply by wait time. Customer service at most consumer companies is like this as well. You can’t pay more to get better or faster help from you utility or cell phone carrier. They ration service by making you wait. I suspect that many in-house clients might feel they are subject to this.”
Good idea, Ron, and thank you for it. The dubious side of me worries that delays by in-house lawyers might not be as deliberate and thought out as commercial queues.