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Give Us Your Personal Data Or Pay Full Fare 342

ebh writes "Noted in an AP story about how fees make it difficult to compare air travel costs, is how the airline industry is moving toward tailoring offer packages (and presumably, fares) for individuals based on their personal information. Worse, 'The airline association said consumers who choose not to supply personal information would still be able to see fares and purchase tickets, though consumer advocates said those fares would probably be at the "rack rate" — the travel industry's term for full price, before any discounts.'"
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Give Us Your Personal Data Or Pay Full Fare

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @03:09AM (#42401963)

    In Australia this has been mostly fixed legislatively under the 'component pricing' laws. []

    Component pricing is advertising a price in its component parts rather than as a single figure, and can create an impression that a product is being offered for sale at a lower price than it actually is. The [legislation requires] that if you choose to use component pricing in advertisements, you must also provide consumers with a prominent single total price for goods and services, as they are able to be quantified at that time.

    The single price means the minimum total cost that is able to be quantified (or calculated) at the time of making the representation.

    You must include in the single price any:

    • * charges of any desciption payable by a consumer to purchase the good or service (e.g. administration fees, compulsory services charges, booking fees)
    • * taxes, duties, fees, levies or charges payable by the consumer for the supply of the good or service (e.g. goods and services tax or sales tax).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @03:55AM (#42402095)

    I first noticed when I did a search for a media player, I clicked through and it refused to give me a price unless I logged in. I click the 'why we ask you to login' link and it made some kind of BS claim about customer service. I got my price.

    Then I then logged out, tried to create a new account, and tried again and got that *same* price (same IP, I think they're smarter about covering their tracks), so I then used a works proxy with a different IP address, and created a new account and was offered a cheaper price.

    They're still up to their old games, just better at hiding them.

    That was only a few months ago.

  • Re:Illegal cartel (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lord Maud'Dib ( 611577 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @04:21AM (#42402201)
    As a previous poster has already stated, Australia has managed this under consumer protection laws. All new cars and motorcycles must list the full on-road cost of the vehicle.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @05:32AM (#42402431)

    I seriously doubt that. This is your paranoia going further than reality.

    What you probably saw was an item with a minimum advertised price. The rule on those is often to only show you the price on an item that's been added to your cart. It has nothing to do with tailoring the price.

    If use of a proxy changed the price it was probably based on a geographic change.

    If Amazon were regularly showing different prices based on some kind of personal profiling, we'd certainly know about it. Thousands of sites reference Amazon prices on individual products every single day, and there's never any mismatch.

  • Re:so... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @09:07AM (#42403043)

    groceries aren't less expensive. to strongarm ppl into giving up their data the supermarkets made the loyalty price the normal price and the normal price is now just a total ripoff.

    good thing supermarkets give you loyalty cards on-site so all the information you put on the form can be false. every 6 months or so get a new card under a new identity. pay with cash.

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @10:32AM (#42403505) Homepage Journal

    There are other solutions to beating the airline industry too, if only more companies were progressive enough to take them on. For example, []

    Yes, they're aiming directly at the short haul airlines. And it's not hard to see how if the FEC can turn a profit with this, other railways will see an opportunity they've been missing for nearly half a century. And if you're about to ask "What's changed that'd make it profitable now", the fact is "it" hasn't been tried before. What's been tried before is trying to produce a full service, stops every five miles, rail system that the government actively competed with. If all you're doing, like AAF/FEC, is running trains between large cities - as airlines do planes - then you stand a much better chance of pulling this off and making a mint in the process.

    The biggest issue is convincing the rail companies to dip their toes in the water again. Reportedly at least one Class A is thinking in terms of running a non-Amtrak service. If the FEC can make a success of it, I suspect most of the major rail companies will jump in.

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