Days of Change

Complimentary

February 22, 2016
1 Comment

Time for more griping.

A generation or so ago, you heard more about things being complimentary. Complimentary items are often part of a larger transaction. When you pay for a hotel stay, there is a complimentary breakfast. Also, soap and towels are complimentary. However, they are not free. Don’t take the towels with you.

Then, there are situations where you get comped. If there was a problem with service, you may receive a complimentary item as compensation, although I believe the “comp” part actually refers to complimentary.

What I’ve found more and more is that using the word “free” is a much better ploy to make people think they are getting something. Buy one, get one free is a good example. The other thing isn’t really free. The item you paid for is complimented by an item that compliments it without additional charge.

I think the culture of free stuff has now become so pervasive that a guy like Bernie Sanders can get enough people to really think that government can give things for free without any initial payment. It’s the same logic that makes one believe a business is giving you free WiFi when the equipment is paid for with revenue from your purchases.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. There aren’t many complimentary lunches, either.

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