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ServeChilled81

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Jun 27 12 4:18 PM

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Orbitz Shows Higher Prices to Mac Users

Imagine going for an oil change and finding out that the auto shop charged you a higher price just because you had a luxury car, so they figured you could afford it. You’d probably get ticked off and find another mechanic, right? According to the Wall Street Journal, travel website Orbitz.com has begun engaging in an online version of this, showing more expensive hotel offers to people accessing the site from Macintosh computers — a group of customers that spend as much as 30% more on their hotel rooms, according to the company’s research.

Americans have a troubling tendency to turn over all sorts of personal information to just about any website that dangles a coupon code in front of us. We don’t mind companies harvesting our personal data, then slicing and dicing it in order to sell us stuff. But what about when companies use those seemingly small details to charge us more for the same goods and services? Will this be the moment when it starts to dawn on us that we should probably be less cavalier about what we expose online?

The Journal reports that Orbitz’s experiment is in its early stages. It quotes a company executive who says the site won’t show the exact same room two different customers at different prices, but that’s little consolation. A Mac user searching for a place to stay who gets information about an upgraded room or suite probably believes it’s all that’s available for their travel dates. Meanwhile, a Windows user might conduct the same search and get back results for less expensive standard rooms. Orbitz tells the Journal that Mac customers book the pricier hotel rooms anyway. But shouldn’t it be up to the consumer, not Orbitz, to decide to save a few bucks on a particular trip and slum it in a cheaper room.

Dynamic pricing, to use the industry buzzword, is nothing new. Airlines as well as hotels have adjusted their rates for years based on supply and demand, which is why it’s cheaper to visit Phoenix in August or the Jersey Shore in February. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, although Coca-Cola’s tests in the late 90s of vending machines that charged more when the temperature crept up generated a consumer backlash that prompted the company to abandon the idea.



Read more: http://moneyland.time.com/2012/06/26/orbitz-shows-higher-prices-to-mac-users/#ixzz1z1igMHN1
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ServeChilled81

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#4 [url]

Jun 27 12 5:48 PM

They're not selling the same room for a different price, but are they even showing

the cheapest rooms to Mac users?  Even if you sort them are you still only getting the rooms
they want you to choose from instead of all that is available?

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TheGr8BlkHope

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#7 [url]

Jun 27 12 6:40 PM

ive been using orbitz for my traveling lately but i recently decided i was done w/ them. theyre usually the most expensive and the price assurance feature is a joke.

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1994SS.niketalk

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#10 [url]

Jun 27 12 6:47 PM

They're not the first company to do it. Plus they're not charging the same room from different prices, they just organize it differently for mac users by default. Sounds fair to me.

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DwyaneWadeOG

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#12 [url]

Jun 27 12 6:58 PM

K2theAblaM wrote:
sort by pricing = problem solved.

dynamic pricing means that you, as a mac user, would see the same exact list of hotels that I would as a PC user, but that the prices on your list would be higher simply because you're a mac user.

Sorting by price does nothing to change that.

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jdizzle75

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#13 [url]

Jun 27 12 7:03 PM

ServeChilled81 wrote:

Orbitz Shows Higher Prices to Mac Users

Imagine going for an oil change and finding out that the auto shop charged you a higher price just because you had a luxury car

Wait...Mechanics don't do this?


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omgitswes.niketalk

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#14 [url]

Jun 27 12 7:09 PM

ReturnBama wrote:
as long as it is not the same room for different prices, not a big deal to me

Yeah I don't get why this is news.
I saw it on CNN today too, and it's been all over blogs.

The CEO was on and he said their research found that mac users buy higher priced rooms. So they show those rooms first, so the customers don't have to look through rooms that they don't want.
So basically they are completely different rooms, the more expensive rooms are just shown first.

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frostythepoptart

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#15 [url]

Jun 27 12 7:10 PM

lol good for them. Mac users are little hipster children who wanna show off their 2000 dollar computer in which they do nothing but facebook on.

I don't get it.

The same with ipads which are nothing but a very large cellphone... why not just get a laptop

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a55a5in11.niketalk

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#16 [url]

Jun 27 12 7:15 PM

frostythepoptart wrote:
lol good for them. Mac users are little hipster children who wanna show off their 2000 dollar computer in which they do nothing but facebook on.

I don't get it.

The same with ipads which are nothing but a very large cellphone... why not just get a laptop
i am sensing a lot of jealousy from you.

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ServeChilled81

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#18 [url]

Jun 27 12 7:19 PM

DwyaneWadeOG wrote:
K2theAblaM wrote:
sort by pricing = problem solved.

dynamic pricing means that you, as a mac user, would see the same exact list of hotels that I would as a PC user, but that the prices on your list would be higher simply because you're a mac user.

Sorting by price does nothing to change that.

this is what i'm trying to figure
If it were simply a matter of sorting would it even be news?
Say a PC user is shown 15 results for a particular accommodation
is the Mac shown 12 with the 3 cheapest already filtered out?

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DwyaneWadeOG

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#19 [url]

Jun 27 12 7:44 PM

ServeChilled81 wrote:
DwyaneWadeOG wrote:
K2theAblaM wrote:
sort by pricing = problem solved.

dynamic pricing means that you, as a mac user, would see the same exact list of hotels that I would as a PC user, but that the prices on your list would be higher simply because you're a mac user.

Sorting by price does nothing to change that.

this is what i'm trying to figure
If it were simply a matter of sorting would it even be news?
Say a PC user is shown 15 results for a particular accommodation
is the Mac shown 12 with the 3 cheapest already filtered out?
No. Imagine that you and I want to buy a new phone and go to a phone store where the prices are not shown. 

You walk into the phone store and start browsing the iPhones. Because you are a wearing a nice suit the sales people tell you that the price of the iPhones are $100. They know you have money so they bump up the prices to make more money off you.

I walk into the same store wearing flip flops, shorts, and a wife beater. Because I look like a bum, they know I probably don't have money, BUT they still want to sell me an iPhone to make money. So they lower the price of the iPhone to $60 for me.

Even though we were both in the same store, looking at the same phones, they charged you more because they felt you would pay more.

Airlines do the same thing but in this case they use the type of computer you use as an indicator of your wealth.

Does that make sense?

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pianoman52

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#20 [url]

Jun 27 12 11:51 PM

not true. i have a mac at home and PC at work. i compare Orbitz prices (as well as other travel sites) on both of my machines all the time. I've got Excel spreadsheets and the prices are always consistent.

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