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Demand-based pricing is underused in many service industries, because customers are believed to perceive such pricing as unfair. Fencing can be highly effective in improving the perceived fairness of demand-based pricing. In this study, five fences were explored in a restaurant context across three countries (Singapore, Sweden, and the United States). Demand-based pricing in the form of coupons (two for the price of one), time-of-day pricing, and lunch/dinner pricing were perceived as fair. Weekday/weekend pricing was seen as neutral to slightly unfair. Table location pricing was seen as somewhat unfair with potential negative consumer reactions to this practice. Furthermore, framing demand-based pricing as discounts improved perceived fairness. The findings were largely consistent for the three countries. Specifically, framing demand-based pricing as discounts or gains showed no country-specific effect.


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© SAGE. Final version published as: Kimes, S. E., & Wirtz, J. (2003). Has revenue management become acceptable? Findings from an international study on the perceived fairness of rate fences. Journal of Service Research, 6(2), 125-135. doi: 10.1177/1094670503257038
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.