Is It Fair for Businesses to Charge Singles More? Examples from Many Sectors

Often, what seems like an obviously smart practice to people in business, feels like discrimination to people who are single. I have discussed this dilemma often, starting in Singled Out and continuing in various articles and blog posts.

  1. The Business-Person’s Dilemma: Charge Singles More and Incur their Wrath, or Make Less Money? (And is this really the most accurate framing of the issue?)

Is this singlism or a smart business practice?

Per person, single people pay $100 more for membership in a film society than two people who join as a couple.

Does this count as discrimination?

At Eataly, a collection of about a half-dozen Mario-Batali-inspired restaurants in one big open space, I wanted to sit at a table for lunch, but the hostess refused to seat me there. She said that during peak hours, solo diners could only be seated at the bar.

Rent a car with a friend instead of a spouse? You pay more

Enterprise charges more to rent a car with a friend than with a spouse.

Does capitalism love single people?

An essay in the Guardian (newspaper) argues that marketers love single people. Is this contrary to all of the ways in which companies shortchange singles by charging them more per person than they charge couples?

Is it OK to have a couples-only club?

This article is not specifically about business practices, but some of the issues are the same.

       2.               Stopping Singlism in the Marketplace, the Workplace, and Beyond

The most comprehensive set of discussions of singlism in various domains, and ways of stopping it, is in the book, Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Stop It. (Paperback is here; ebook is here.) Here are some blog posts on the topic.

You’re on notice, travel industry!

I discuss the New York Times article that takes on the single supplement, and acknowledges travel companies that are starting to offer better deals to solo travelers.

Bye, bye single supplement! Adweek proclaims the power of one

I discuss a big story in a leading magazine in the advertising industry about the growing importance of solos, and the businesses already offering them good deals.

Shout them out here: Singles (un)friendly businesses

I invite readers to submit names and descriptions of singles-friendly or –unfriendly businesses

Oscars and Razzies – Singles Category

Here are readers’ nominations for singles-friendly and –unfriendly establishments.

Stopping singlism: What will work?

What we can do to stop singlism, in the marketplace and beyond

Creating a singles-friendly workplace: How would you do it?

What would qualify as a singles-friendly workplace?

Fact sheet on single workers

This is from the Sloan Network on work and family

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