Calexis

Fears for Tiers

June 14, 2015

We have heard a lot about the danger of two tier systems, particularly with respect to our medical system.  The fear seems to be that folks willing to pay extra will get preferential treatment over everyone else.  But that horse has long since left the barn.

The medical system already has many more than two tiers.  Sure there is the open public system which seems to work pretty well, from our personal experiences.

There is also a paid option for a number of procedures.  The world-renowned Shouldice Clinic (their words) does men’s hernias and you can get almost immediate surgery, plus it attracts patients from around the world.

Then there are the many other ways people jump the public queue and get superior treatment – or think they are.  It could be your friend is a doctor, or another healthcare worker, or you are a donor to a hospital foundation, or maybe you donated enough for an entire wing.  Or you are a well known politician or a celebrity or sports star whose physical readiness is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a day.  These will all get you better options than someone walking in from the street.

Tiered systems like this are all around us and perfectly accepted.  In fact most systems evolve into tiered systems over time.

We all know that being a regular and known customer means you get better service and treatment.  We cultivate this to our benefit at our local stores, restaurants, banks, and cleaners.

We see an extension of this through the proliferation of points provided by retailers and credit cards.  Regular customers get extra benefits for their loyalty compared to  occasional users of the retailer or service.  And, of course, there are strata of these users – gold level, platinum level and so in.  Different levels get different benefits.

Tiering is also a strategy used by many digital brands – free use for everyone and if you pay, you get Prime service, no ads, or free shipping.

Some tiers are as simple as Pay for view. If you want to see more games, or specific games, you have to either buy cable or web access, or move to the next tier and pay directly for a particular game or match.  And when we go to the game, we all pay different rates for different seats.

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