14 Replies - 342 Views - Last Post: 27 June 2012 - 07:24 AM

#1 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:31 PM

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Orbitz Worldwide Inc has found that people who use Apple Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see.

I'm sure this is a javascript/jquery script that detects the browser. Could it not just be defeated forging the header?

Interesting. Mac users... do you feel had? Bamboozled? Duped?

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Replies To: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

#2 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:46 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 27 June 2012 - 12:31 AM, said:

I'm sure this is a javascript/jquery script that detects the browser. Could it not just be defeated forging the header?

Sure. You can easily forge the User-Agent header to be whatever you want it to be. There are even AddOns for Firefox and Chrome that do this. (Useful when writing mobile websites on a PC.)

Doesn't have to be a Javascript thing, though. Can just as easily be done server-side. That actually makes more sense, seeing as that's where the database queries are made.
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#3 denting5  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:54 PM

You left something out of the story; while Mac users see the hotels listed in a different order Windows users, the same hotels are shown. Just in a different order.
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:58 PM

View Postdenting5, on 26 June 2012 - 08:54 PM, said:

Mac users see the hotels listed in a different order Windows users, the same hotels are shown.


Right, but the report is showing that Mac users also spend 30% more on a site designed to provide good deals. They are judging the purchasing power of the clientele based on their hardware. The typical stereotype that Macs cost more, so Mac users can spend more. I disagree that anything was left out.
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#5 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 06:56 PM

i recently purchased a flight on orbitz and browsed for it on both my mac and my pc, the costs were the same.
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 06:57 PM

That's the point - the prices are not different just their presentation of ordering to the user.
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#7 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:25 PM

eh, i dunno, i didn't notice anything weird, i usually tell it how i want it to them to me so i probably wasn't even paying attention prior to that.
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#8 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:08 PM

Reminds me of how some sites will bump up the prices of tickets that you previously looked at. People should just get the listings and directly call the business for a reservation, I mean, if that's possible. I heard just calling a hotel will get you much cheaper rooms than going through something like Orbitz.
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:47 PM

View Postsupersloth, on 26 June 2012 - 09:25 PM, said:

eh, i dunno, i didn't notice anything weird, i usually tell it how i want it to them to me so i probably wasn't even paying attention prior to that.



Er... what?
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#10 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:55 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 26 June 2012 - 07:58 PM, said:

View Postdenting5, on 26 June 2012 - 08:54 PM, said:

Mac users see the hotels listed in a different order Windows users, the same hotels are shown.


Right, but the report is showing that Mac users also spend 30% more on a site designed to provide good deals. They are judging the purchasing power of the clientele based on their hardware. The typical stereotype that Macs cost more, so Mac users can spend more. I disagree that anything was left out.


They found a correlation: people using browser X tend to like a certain sort of room. As a group, given the same choices, this group tends to go for a different set from [consumers as a whole]. If mac uses tended to prefer rooms with headboards and good thick walls, Orbitz would show those preferentially. As it happens, people smart enough to use macs tend to make more money, because they're naturally smarter, so they can afford to spend a little more money on a nicer room than the average run of the mill Windrone. That's not a crime, is it, here in America?*


But unless you're saying that they're showing the same rooms to different users at different prices, there's nothing of shenannigans here.
What if Amazon found that Linux users showed a marked preference for used editions of novels - would you find it if they used the same browser information to bring used copies to the top for linux users?


*I can't believe I have to say it but...
that's a joke, people. Really, honestly, and truly, it's a joke.

Spoiler

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#11 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:03 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 26 June 2012 - 10:47 PM, said:

View Postsupersloth, on 26 June 2012 - 09:25 PM, said:

eh, i dunno, i didn't notice anything weird, i usually tell it how i want it to them to me so i probably wasn't even paying attention prior to that.



Er... what?

i'm saying i would limit it by dates, then a timeframe, then tell it to order it in price, ascending. so, maybe they did organize the prices differently prior to me putting those constraints on it, but i wasn't yet paying attention.

edit: jesus herbert christos, i just realized i left out like 5 words in the original post. my bad.

This post has been edited by supersloth: 26 June 2012 - 10:05 PM

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#12 aresh  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:04 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 27 June 2012 - 10:25 AM, said:

...
Aresh, untwist your dhoti: it's a joke, son.

What. The. Hell !!! And on your request, here I am, wearing a dhoti.
Spoiler

And now here I am untwisting it.
Spoiler

Nope B9, I am not showing my butt to you. I am leaving that for LOD.

This post has been edited by aresh: 27 June 2012 - 01:05 AM

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#13 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:53 AM

Continuing with sloth's comment, what I find interesting is that, despite the fact that Mac users can easily circumvent the default presentation order, they still apparently end up paying 30% more for accomodations/flights/cars/etc than PC users do. That is, they choose those options (assuming they have roughly the same technical acumen for searching a website).

This suggests that Mac users arrive at Orbitz with somewhat different values when evaluating travel options than PC users do. I would suggest they consciously or unconsciously equate higher price with better quality and their buying habits are affected by that posit. To wit, they bought a more expensive Mac when they could have had a PC of equal quality and indeed, probably identical internal parts. The actual final product's delivered qualities probably don't justify the price difference but their perception of the product is what matters. And when you're spending money on something, you want to be happy with your purchase.

My opinion is that Mac users are pleased by the notion that they have a higher quality product (regardless of whether the quality is actual or just assumed) while PC users are more pleased that they got value for their purchase. Interesting that Orbitz would actually incorporate that into their site though. I'd like to know if they found their change for Mac users resulted in even more money spent on average than before their change.

This post has been edited by Craig328: 27 June 2012 - 06:54 AM

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#14 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:22 AM

View Postaresh, on 27 June 2012 - 03:04 AM, said:

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 27 June 2012 - 10:25 AM, said:

...
Aresh, untwist your dhoti: it's a joke, son.

What. The. Hell !!! And on your request, here I am, wearing a dhoti.
Spoiler

And now here I am untwisting it.
Spoiler

Nope B9, I am not showing my butt to you. I am leaving that for LOD.


Steady on there, boy, there's laws in this country about transmitting lewd pictures of minors. You trying to get skyhawk in trouble?
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#15 aresh  Icon User is offline

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Re: On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:24 AM

I would love to :D
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