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Orbitz displaying higher-priced hotels to Macs versus PCs

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users more-expensive hotel options than it does to PC users because those using Apple's desktop operating system tend to spend more.

Executives for the online travel agency told The Wall Street Journal that their company is testing a system that displays different deals depending on the user's operating system. Orbitz did clarify, though, that it is not offering the same room at different prices and users can always sort options by price.

"Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts," the publication noted Wai Gen Yee, Orbitz's chief scientist, as saying.

Compared to PC users, Mac users are "40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel" and generally prefer higher-priced rooms when they book the same hotel as their PC counterparts, according to the report.

Chief Technology Officer Roger Lieu said the company had an "intuition" about the discrepancy and used data to confirm it last October. Demographics could provide an explanation for the difference in spending habits. For instance, market research firm Forrester has found the average household income for adult Mac owners to be $24,000 higher than PC owners.

Tests conducted by the Journal did show differences in which hotel options were suggested to Macs and PCs, but results were the same in some cities, such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia and Boston. Listings for a Miami Beach search performed on a Mac, however, did contain boutique hotels that didn't appear on the first page of results on a PC. Orbitz says it has yet to implement the system across the whole site, and operating system is not the only factor that could result in different results.

Orbitz search


Meanwhile, spokesmen for competing sites Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity said they don't have a similar feature that differentiates between users' operating systems.

Orbitz's initiative comes as it battles its way toward profitability. The Journal pointed out that the company lost $37 million last year and its stock has dropped 74 percent since its initial public offering in 2007.
post #2 of 79

Thats exactly why I stopped using Orbitz two years ago.  Figured it out one day by accident while shopping from work.  F--k Orbitz.

post #3 of 79

Well, that explains a lot about my girlfriend. :D

post #4 of 79

Never liked Orbitz - now I'll make sure I never, ever use it.

post #5 of 79

Josh,

 

You wrote "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users more-expensive hotel options."

 

Did you mean to write "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users choose more-expensive hotel options"?

 

-Mike Herrinton

post #6 of 79
Hahaha.
post #7 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

Thats exactly why I stopped using Orbitz two years ago.  Figured it out one day by accident while shopping from work.  F--k Orbitz.

Yeah, Orbitz went downhill fast. I've always had great luck with Priceline, whether naming my own price or not. Have never had an issue with them.

post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Herrinton View Post

Josh,

You wrote "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users more-expensive hotel options."

Did you mean to write "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users choose more-expensive hotel options"?

-Mike Herrinton

Read the article, sheesh.
post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Herrinton View Post

Josh,

You wrote "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users more-expensive hotel options."

Did you mean to write "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users choose more-expensive hotel options"?

-Mike Herrinton

It's both.
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post #10 of 79
So... If I log on via android do I get only super8 hotels. Just joking. 1smile.gif
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post #11 of 79
Class action lawsuit filed within 7 days?
post #12 of 79

I will make sure I'm using a netbook next time I book hotels online.

post #13 of 79
dupe
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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post #14 of 79
Class action discrimination case ...? They even write lowest price guaranteed!
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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post #15 of 79

I realize everyone on Orbitz still gets the same price for the same thing, and a simple manual sort works to show the same thing on Mac and PC alike. Not a huge deal, then. But it does make my mind wander with thoughts of how user-tracking in general could be abused! What if ad cookies (like the kind Google has gotten in trouble over) are flagging me to get higher prices somewhere, or show me that low-cost items are out of stock? (Doesn’t Amazon engage in something a little like that?) I doubt that’s actually happening to me... but it could.

 

The REAL scandal, of course, is how Orbitz displays cardboard boxes and sleeping bags to Android users. A slap in the face, plain and simple.

post #16 of 79

Obi-Wan Kenobi is their chief scientist? What?

I never use Orbitz. And I never will.

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post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

 

The REAL scandal, of course, is how Orbitz displays cardboard boxes and sleeping bags to Android users. A slap in the face, plain and simple.

 

Cardboard boxes are open, which is much better than a hotel where they have locks on the room doors.

post #18 of 79

Chillax people.  Their history show that Mac users don't elect to stay at the flea-bag motels, so by default they show the nicer properties.  If you want to see the cheaper ones, you can find them.  No price discrimination, just giving people what they want.  

post #19 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

Cardboard boxes are open, which is much better than a hotel where they have locks on the room doors.

 

Ah, the old “cardboard boxes are open” talking point again. But who really benefits? I’ll tell you: the carriers. Have you ever tried to carry a hotel? Not happening. Carriers love that you can pick up a box and just carry it with you anywhere.

 

P.S. I am a Mac user and I like Super 8 just fine! :)

post #20 of 79
201
post #21 of 79

Makes perfect sense to me. Generally speaking, Mac users are wealthier, brighter, more successful, better educated, more informed and get hotter women than say Android users, just as an example. People who want the best and those who truly appreciate tech buys Apple.

 

If I ran a e-commerce website, I wouldn't even allow Android users to access it, as it would be a waste of time and resources to let all sorts of riff raff and street bums with no money from accessing my site and using up precious data. I would have to assume that they were not truly looking to rent a hotel room, and that they were actually looking to purchase a roach motel, and I would redirect them to the appropriate site.

post #22 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

Cardboard boxes are open, which is much better than a hotel where they have locks on the room doors.

 

I see what you did there... class Really suit them perfectly, non-lockdown open platform. Brill. Apple, PC/MS, Linux/Android. Expense high --> low
post #23 of 79

I don't know if this is that outrageous. They're not showing different prices to different people, they just know that OS X users tend to go for nicer hotels anyhow, so they're ranking those higher on the initial sort. 

post #24 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

…they just know that OS X users tend to go for nicer hotels anyhow, so they're ranking those higher on the initial sort. 

What part of "not showing different prices to different people" does that fall under? Because I don't think it's the part where people using OS X are different people from people using Windows.

I think it's the part where that's not the case at all and they need sued over this.

Originally Posted by Marvin

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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

I don't know if this is that outrageous. They're not showing different prices to different people, they just know that OS X users tend to go for nicer hotels anyhow, so they're ranking those higher on the initial sort. 

 

I think you're wrong. They are showing different results to different people (OS X/PC). What they are not doing is giving different price for the same room based on the OS. I mean I always make sure the results are sorted when performing a search so if that is what they are doing then they are not giving me a fair result. Nevermind, I don't use their website anyway..
post #26 of 79
WTH is wrong with people? There is no price gouging of Mac users for the same service? If anyone has a case it's Windows users for being called cheap bastards and even that's a weak argument.




edit: Pipped by others with the Android joke.

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post #27 of 79

That's wrong on so many levels.  Thankfully I've never used Orbitz and now I will ensure that I never do.  Expedia, Hotwire (same company actually), Travelocity, Kayak, etc will be my sites.  Too many to even care about Orbitz.

post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Makes perfect sense to me. Generally speaking, Mac users are wealthier, brighter, more successful, better educated, more informed and get hotter women than say Android users, just as an example. People who want the best and those who truly appreciate tech buys Apple.

 

If I ran a e-commerce website, I wouldn't even allow Android users to access it, as it would be a waste of time and resources to let all sorts of riff raff and street bums with no money from accessing my site and using up precious data. I would have to assume that they were not truly looking to rent a hotel room, and that they were actually looking to purchase a roach motel, and I would redirect them to the appropriate site.

 

You forgot better in bed, as well.

 

You don't get awesome sexual capabilities when you're too busy customising the widgets on your phone...

 

(>_<)


Edited by GTR - 6/25/12 at 10:07pm
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post #29 of 79

those poor cheap Windows uers hardly ever pay anything but the rock bottom possible, so thats all they can show them... then hope they make a sale.

post #30 of 79

I think that some people are understanding the article wrong. I don't see this as a big deal at all.

 

The site is not charging Mac users more money for the same room. The price for a particular room is identical, no matter which platform you are on.

 

The site is merely showing Mac users higher class hotel rooms, since Mac users choose higher class hotel rooms, that is a fact. Even if somebody is on a Mac, they can sort by price and choose the cheapest hotel room if they so please. Why waste a person's time by showing them low class products and services that are below what they are looking for? 

post #31 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

 

You forgot better in bed, as well.

 

 

(>_<)

 

I thought that went without saying, so I didn't bother to mention it. :)

post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple || View Post

I thought that went without saying, so I didn't bother to mention it.

And bigger penises, which is why we have nothing to prove with huge phones that fill up our pants.
Edited by SolipsismX - 6/25/12 at 10:05pm

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post #33 of 79

This is proof that cookies and MAC addresses along with other identifying information can be used to funnel people about on the internet. It also poses a danger when governments decide to utilize this data for their purposes.

The computer manufacturers and browser manufacturers should offer some type of way to be totally anonymous. Even though some browsers allow private browsing they don't block web beacons and other things from things like Adobe's Flash tracking data.

There is a way to be sort of anonymous on the web but it is a bit inconvenient. Visit this site to learn how it is done using The Tor Network with live CDs or USB sticks; https://tails.boum.org/ .

Privacy and anonymity are important to everybody even when they think they have nothing to hide.

post #34 of 79

Anyone who's foolish enough to pay $2200 for a 15" MBP that only has a 250gb HDD, which doesn't allow any diy hardware upgrading, deserves to be taken advantage of. Even the elitest of the elite take pride in getting a deal but for some reason the new breed of Apple users think it makes them appear better than most of society when they fail to budget their disposable cash.

post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot9201 View Post

Anyone who's foolish enough to pay $2200 for a 15" MBP that only has a 250gb HDD, which doesn't allow any diy hardware upgrading, deserves to be taken advantage of. Even the elitest of the elite take pride in getting a deal but for some reason the new breed of Apple users think it makes them appear better than most of society when they fail to budget their disposable cash.

Translation: "Apple. I hate them because I'm worried about your budget."

Now we've heard it all...
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post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Herrinton View Post

Josh,

 

You wrote "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users more-expensive hotel options."

 

Did you mean to write "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users choose more-expensive hotel options"?

 

-Mike Herrinton

 

It's clear from the rest of the article that Orbitz shows a differently ordered set of results to Mac users. They specifically justify this because their data shows that Mac users tend to choose higher priced options.

post #37 of 79

I've never used that site. I like tripadvisor mainly for reviews by real people who've used the services. Finding the best price is easy: search for "best price" and whatever else defines what you want to do, and see what the googles turn up.

 

If they really are doing this, in any case, they are being idiotic. They are confusing a tendency to appreciate better value despite a higher price with a penchant for over-paying.

 

I don't buy Macs because they are more expensive. I buy them because they are better value. They may cost more up front but they last longer than comparable PCs and cause me less frustration and problems fixing viruses etc. When I look for accommodation I apply the same principle. I sort on price then check the reviews. I seldom get the cheapest but if the cheapest has good reviews, I take it. If a Windows or Android device could offer me the same reliability and lack of frustration as a Mac, I would consider it. I use Linux in my research not because it's cheaper (it's not: I usually run it on a PC that had Windows installed before) but because it delivers better value for what I do than Windows (and for some things, better value than a Mac).

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
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post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot9201 View Post

Anyone who's foolish enough to pay $2200 for a 15" MBP that only has a 250gb HDD, which doesn't allow any diy hardware upgrading, deserves to be taken advantage of. Even the elitest of the elite take pride in getting a deal but for some reason the new breed of Apple users think it makes them appear better than most of society when they fail to budget their disposable cash.

 

250gb *SSD*, not HDD… That's a world (and a few hundred $$) of difference there. Also take into account a Retina Display… and quite a few other substantial 'leading edge' technologies. It's light and thin while remaining a 'pro-level' laptop performance-wise. And, when did I last need any DIY hardware upgrading on a laptop… hmmm, let me think… OK, never?

 

I'm not seeing "foolishness" in paying $2,200 for all that.

 

 

And you're wrong, I don't believe that owning this machine makes me better than anyone else…  However I do know that owning top-of-the-line Macs has helped ME to be more productive than when I owned Windows PCs. I know this from first-hand experience.

 

Finally, I cannot agree that anyone "foolish" EVER "deserves" to be taken advantage of. I'm completely against that ethic entirely. No-one EVER "deserves" to be cheated or taken advantage of, simply for not being "clever"… in fact, the opposite is true. Foolish, less than clever people should be cared about and protected by the rest of us from potential predators...

 

//rant

post #39 of 79

It's Siri. She won't settle for anything less than 4 star.

post #40 of 79
Quote:
Wai Gen Yee, Orbitz's chief scientist

 

wtf does a travel booking company (albeit with a website) need a 'chief scientist' for ???  lol

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