Feeds

Apple users get pricier hotel options from Orbitz

Booking site offers PC users cheaper choices

The essential guide to IT transformation

Online booking site Orbitz has run into PR problems with an experiment in differentiated selling between Apple and PC users.

Analysis by the Wall Street Journal showed that on Orbitz's basic search Apple accounts were shown hotels at the pricier end of the market, costing an average of 30 per cent more than those offered to PC users. Naturally some sections of the media are up in arms because this sounds sinister, but actually it makes business sense.

Last month Orbitz CEO Barney Harford wrote a USA Today piece that explained the situation. The company's analysis of 750TB of its data showed that Apple users coming to its website were 40 per cent more likely to book at the top end of the hotel room market with a four or five star room. Consequently it was reflecting that in its rankings.

It also knows that the first results it puts up are the most likely to be used, for the unstated reason that people are generally lazy. Harford noted that 90 per cent of its customers reserved rooms displayed on the first page of their searches, with a quarter picking the first hotel on the list. If Apple users pay more, it is logical and good business sense to organize search in this way.

Orbitz is, after all, a business. It makes its money from bookings and the more expensive the better as far as it is concerned. Apple users generally spend more for their technology than other computer buyers and are, on the whole, wealthier. The booking service's practice might make Apple users feel put upon, but there's nothing compulsory in these listings and they are free to find cheaper options if they prefer, something Harford has confirmed on Twitter.

Nevertheless, plenty of Apple users have taken to Orbitz's Facebook page to protest at the apparent injustice of having to sort their choices by price. Maybe they should Think Different about the whole issue. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.