Friday, January 21, 2005

Clever Business Model Given the Boot

Now here is a business model that I can dig, and it doesn't even require collecting any underpants:
  1. Buy a bunch of wheel clamps.
  2. Clamp unwanted vehicles in businesses' parking lots--at no charge to the business.
  3. Charge people $125 to have the clamp removed.
  4. Profit!
It's like towing, only less expensive and quicker. Of course, anything that easy is most likely to be shut down by the government as soon as possible. Clampdown Washington, a Fremont company employing the above business model, was recently issued a cease-and-desist order by the state. Apparently having a clever business model that doesn't fit cleanly into a state-issued category is against the law. Which is really too bad, because clamping unwanted vehicles was actually working for the businesses!
But some consumers put a different spin on it.
Among them is Sheila Soares, who parked in a Green Lake Baskin-Robbins lot with many empty stalls in late November to duck into the Starbucks next door.
Ultimately, Soares admits she was wrong to park in Baskin-Robbins' lot. On the other hand, "It's wintertime. Who the hell is buying ice cream?"
Wow, there's a stellar defense. Would she have been okay with it then, had the company been properly licensed, towed her car, and charged her $400 to remove it from impound? I think not.

People like that really rather annoy me. They're the same type that go through the "15 item limit express lane" in the grocery store with 20 items. I wish there were a company that would take care of that little problem. Say... I'm having a thought...ouch, that hurts. Let's see here:
  1. Design "foot clamp."
  2. When someone exceeds the express lane limit, attach the foot clamp.
  3. Charge them $125 to take it off.
  4. Profit!
It's ingenious. And since I won't be touching cars, the state can't touch me! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the hardware store, then the grocery store.

Source: Seattle Times
Categories: News, Local, Capitalism


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you obviously don't know the difference between having a business model that works as enforcement for parking abuses and actual extortion. You applaud cockroaches like these clampers and see the woman parking in an empty lot to spend 5 mins. getting ice cream as the problem? Now I can understand why you made the leap of sarcastic logic in your defense analogies.

7:19 PM, March 07, 2005  

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