Double the Estimate

Have you noticed how optimistic forecasts have become? (Except among the profession doom-and-gloom crowd, who are still upset Y2K didn’t bring us to our knees.) Whether they’re estimating what it’ll cost to fix your car, destroy ISIL, or pay for a new wardrobe, even professionals seem to consistently low ball the final cost—whether dollars, time, number of people, square feet of whatever.

Some of that has been going on forever. And is equally due to ignorance and optimism. During my decades as a professional logistician, I learned to “double the estimate.”

Recently a dash of deceit has been added. Twice in the last month, we have had services or products pitched, then when we committed to purchase hidden charges appeared.

Do businesses despair of repeat customers so much that they feel compelled to gouge them the first time? Surely they don’t think we’re coming back?