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On Orbitz, Mac Users Offered Pricier Hotels First 305

An anonymous reader writes "Travel site Orbitz found out that Mac users tend to select pricier rooms and swanky hotels. So, from now on, they will show more expensive hotel options to Mac users than to PC users. This is why, although I am a Mac user, my Firefox agent string says 'Windows XP' :)" The (paywalled) WSJ report on which Reuter's summary is based carries Orbitz' s softer explanation, which is that the results by platform are an experiment based mostly on presentation and search-result ordering rather than actually naming higher prices based on OS: "[T]he company isn't showing the same room to different users at different prices. They also pointed out that users can opt to rank results by price."
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On Orbitz, Mac Users Offered Pricier Hotels First

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  • Well, duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:11AM (#40452003)

    A smug sense of superiority requires constant maintenance.

  • by Shrike82 ( 1471633 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:21AM (#40452091)

    This makes sense.

    Indeed. Most travel sites, and general shopping sites, initially organise things by what they call "Relevance", and in many cases this is a totally ambiguous term! Relevance for them can surely mean which supplier paid them the most for advertising. Organising results based on someone's hardware, if a correlation can be shown between the hardware and end choices for accommodation in this case, actually seems pretty sensible and less sinister than what I'd usually expect.

    Looking forward to reading all the paranoid and rage filled comments though...

  • Re:Well, duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:23AM (#40452121)

    Well not kool aid, but fine wines.

    As the company stated they are not offering the same room at different rates, however it is showing the nicer hotels first. If there were enough Linux users to make a difference I would expect that they would give them, the roach motels first.

    These systems will try to correlate as much information as possible to give its views the most relevant results. if a Mac User is shown on average to buy a hotel that is 10% more then the cheapest, then orbits to offer the best results will give the 10% above the cheapest as its first options so its customers are not hunting down the list.

  • In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:36AM (#40452231) Journal

    Study shows people driving luxury cars tended to park them outside nicer restaurants

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:37AM (#40452241)

    1) MAC User may be more affluent. It's not always the case, but most of the time there's probably a lot of credit card debt associated with the individual as well.
    2) Most of them are clueless about technology and just want to leave it to someone else. The mentality "it just works" comes to mind but these folks don't shop around. They see their friends with Apple stuff, they buy Apple stuff.
    3) Like rounded corners a lot and need to have the latest fashion. Fondleslabs and Mac Books along with Iphones and Ipods are the new jewelry.. It's a status symbol.

    So Why wouldn't they go to more expensive hotels where they can show off their bling? I mean honestly, it's not rare to see apple products "In Use" on multiple TV shows, so if the shallow actors are playing with a mac, why can't everybody else? It's really great marketing PR and hype and Orbitz picking up on this is just an astute observation on customer preference. No if you'll excuse me I'm going down to my local Apple store and speak Farsi and try to by a mac book.

  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <`ten.tsacmoc' `ta' `yburxyno'> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:38AM (#40452251)

    Really, is anyone seriously surprised by this? People who value convenience and having someone provide a service for them instead of doing something themselves might hold those same values for other things like paying for hotels. In other words people who are willing to pay 30% more for hardware might be willing to pay 30% more for other things too!!!

    Marketers have figured this out. Next big surprise, organic shopping markets are full of Lexus and Mercedes cars? I think this really advanced concept might have been taught in the second week of marketing 101, maybe?

  • Re:Well, duh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:08AM (#40452585)

    Well not kool aid, but fine wines.

    Or rather, normal wine with a fancy label and sold at a large markup.

  • Re:Well, duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wealthychef ( 584778 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:47AM (#40453155)
    I think you'd have to explain your own motivation, but I think those come under the banner of "enjoying the technical exploration." I think that's a motivator for many Linux lovers. Personally going through all that work to get Mac OS working on a PC defeats the primary points of Mac OS X -- easy integration, low maintenance and quick startup times, for example. But knock yourself out! I use Linux and Mac at work. I avoid Windows if I can as I feel it has both a second class GUI and a second class command line. Windows 7 is definitely a decent offering though compared to earlier efforts. Each have their place, clearly. There is no "best answer for everyone."
  • Re:Well, duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:51AM (#40453199) Journal

    That is why I don't see why this is shocking, anymore than that study we saw awhile back that said those that are heavily Mac buyers on average make $100k a year.

    Look folks, its a fashion brand. there is NOTHING wrong with that, anymore than there is something wrong with you if you buy Gucci or Prada, and if you want it? Please do buy it. You don't have to jump through logic hoops or try to "sell" us that Apple is somehow "better" or everyone else is "worse" because we've seen Apple has just as many defects and repairs as the other big name brands. I mean you don't see Ferrari owners trying to give us bullet points on why Ferrari is a "better value" than the Mustang do you? of course not.

    So please, if you like Apple fashion? Just accept you like it and be happy. there is NOTHING wrong with liking a look, a design aesthetic, or a style and to be willing to pay more for that. TFA is simply acknowledging what we already know, that Apple users have no problem paying more for things. Is that REALLY so surprising?

  • Re:Well, duh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by _0x783czar ( 2516522 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:57AM (#40453267) Homepage Journal
    If buying a superior product is what passes for drinking "kook-aid" these days then all I can say is "OH YEAH!"
  • Re:Well, duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PoolOfThought ( 1492445 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:06PM (#40455331)

    TFA is simply acknowledging what we already know, that Apple users have no problem paying more for things. Is that REALLY so surprising?

    Except that's not what is being acknowledged. They're not paying more for the same thing.

    They're paying more for things that they consider to be nicer or in some way more advantageous to them. In the hotel case maybe they are getting one that is closer to their destination or where they're more likely to meet someone famous. Maybe they just prefer the pillows at one vs the other. But they're not simply willing to pay more for the same thing - they're willing to part with more money if they feel like they're getting something better in return.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay