Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mac Fanbois: use a PC when shopping online

Man, I never thought I'd type those words.  And only do it at sites that you know (i.e. where the risk of malware is low).  But the shopping sites know what computer you use, and jack up the prices for shoppers using Macs:
In a finding that many have subliminally known about for years, but never been actually proven, yet is still quite shocking, the WSJ is reporting that tourism portal Orbitz "has found that people who use Apple Inc.'s 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.
Of course, I have my own opinion on Orbitz.

But if it isn't them, it will be someone else.  You see, I see you:

Your disloyal browser is selling you out, and vendors are starting to figure out that since Mac Fanbois shell out the yuppie bucks for their computers, they'll shell out more for things like Hotels.  Well, Orbitz seems to, at any rate.

Note to Mac users: if you run a VMWare image on your Mac that has a Windows container, and use that to shop, I betcha that stupid Orbitz would give you a better price - because they're too stupid to figure out your cunning plan.  But then, you're too smart to use Orbitz, right?

Note to Orbitz marketing droids: you sure bough yourself a bunch of bad PR here.  And with me.  That's a gift that will keep on giving.  Love and kisses, Borepatch.


Alan said...

I don't think they're actually changing the prices. I think they're just offering more high priced rooms to Mac users. Orbitz says the same rooms are the same price for everyone.

David said...

If you have the Develop menu in Safari turned on in the menu bar, you can set the User Agent to identify as Windows. That might trick Orbitz to offering the lower priced hotels.

Or perhaps Orbitz thinks Windows users are more likely to stay in cheap hotels. :-)

BenC said...

What Alan said, they are just prioritizing the fancier higher priced rooms for Apple users not showing a higher price for the same room.

ambisinistral said...


You're a bigger man than me. I wouldn't have bothered warning the apple fanbois.

Unknown said...

As a long time mac user I happily pay more to stay at a better class of hotel than the garden variety windows user.
Also the higher price pays the cost of security to keep the linux users away from the exits and entrances.

Dave H said...

Also the higher price pays the cost of security to keep the linux users away from the exits and entrances.

Heh. Who do you think is providing the security?

Differ said...

I heard this story covered on NPR this afternoon and the inference was that MAC users were spending more by choice. I was of the same opinon as your inference that the sites were indeed jacking up prices if the customer was a Mac User.....and why not? As for staying at a better class of hotel, I found in my travelling days that the class of hotel didn't necessarily correlate with the price unless one went over double the local average.

Borepatch said...

It seems like if you have a Mac, you can do a controlled experiment (trying simultaneously from both native Mac and Parallels/VMWare Windows). I'm willing to believe that this may be the Press going full frontal "Math Is Hard".

But Orbitz still sucks. So as the MythBusters would say, "Plausible".

Ambisinistral, some of my best friends are Mac users ... ;-)

Unknown, security by obscurity won't keep the H4X0rz away, but may give me a fighting chance against the marketroids.

Differ, as someone who traveled way too much when the kids were younger (and who still has 250k+ Marriott points), it's a bed. I've stayed at some wicked nice places, but at the end of the day it's a lonely cold hotel room. Maybe that's just me.

Unknown said...

Like someone said on Mac you enable the 'develop' menu in Safari and then you can idenitfy your agent as windows, mac, iphone, ipod on almost any browser, and the last 5 versions of IE.
i tried orbitz for the sake of argument as windows and mac...as a mac user orbitz offers a better class of options

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

@ Dave H: Your internets is in the mail.

As far as Orbitz goes, well, the only reason not to do it is because of the PR backlash if it gets out... and I'm not entirely sure how many of the hardcore Mac fanbois - er, users, will care. And they already know that the Apple addicts, I mean, customers, will gladly pay twice the price for an equivalent product, as long as it looks shiny and has the right branding, so why not present the more expensive options first? Heck, I bet some will even see it as a badge of honour!

Now, just give me a minute to get my nomex jumpsuit on. :D

Unknown said...

Two things Mac users understand, and you do not, is that no matter what computer we use - we die and go to hell anyway.
//We Mac users are determined to do it with style...first class all the way baby.

The second thing is that when it doesn't matter how much the drinks cost, it's always happy hour.

And a third you'll appreciate, because I'm throwing it in free ...
Sure, Apple bling is like air jordans for white people... but after listening for two minutes to another one of your rambling, stoner quasi-philosophies about information being 'free' and visualizing the vast savings that wouldn't cover tips on a ski weekend...we have begun to dislike you as people some time ago. It's not so much your delusional projections a'la 'fanbois' - it's that you've worked so hard for your low self esteem.

And let's get one thing straight -R.Stahlmans a fucking loser.

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