Data Collection Everywhere
We all know our data is being taken and stored for some further use from one site to the next. When we click the like button on Facebook, when we enter a contest, when we subscribe to…really anything, your information is being used.
Companies have fallen to a new low. It was not enough that we are inundated with advertisements in our snail mail box or email account. It was not enough that after visiting sites, our advertising banners show up with items that we most recently looked for online.
By far the most disturbing latest marketing strategy involves companies charging people differently for the exact same item based on where the consumer lives in relation to the other competitive stores in their region.
The Wall Street Journal broke the story with Websites Vary Prices, Deals Based on Users’ Information on December 24, 2012. They found several companies (Staples, , Rosetta Stone, Office Max and Office Depot) consistently varied their prices with a formula involving user browser history and geological locations.
Yet this practice of changing prices according to a user’s browser history has been going on for quite some time. Travel agencies have been known to do this frequently. They will show a lower price for an airfare the first time on their site versus the next time you go back on.
Luckily, many travel experts have been sharing insider tips. The Top 10 Secrets of Travel Agents to Save You Money by bakpakguide.com suggests clearing your browser history and cache before searching for travel deals.
The Wall Street Journal noted the practice of price management via user information is legal. But is it really ethical when a person 5 miles away from you is paying a different price for the same product at the same time at the same place? Indiana University offers an informational page on how to clear your browser and cache or a great visual step-by-step tutorial can be found at WikiHow.com.