PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — To find a good hotel deal, a lot of people jump online and use travel sites like Priceline, Expedia and Orbitz.
But, the next time you book a hotel room through Orbitz, the kind of computer you’re using could determine how much you pay.
The next time you book that perfect hotel room at just the right price, here’s something to think about, could you have gotten that room cheaper if you had used a PC and not a Mac.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Orbitz has been able to screen its users and has determined Mac users will pay 20 to 30 dollars more a night on hotels compared to PC users.
Mac users will also pay for better rooms.
Keep in mind, every time you click onto a site to buy or browse, that information is being screened and stored.
“They have discovered that Mac users spend significantly more than PC users,” said Duquesne University marketing professor Dr. Audrey Guskey.
This is what else Orbitz knows; Mac owners tend to have higher household incomes – $98,560 in a Mac home compares to $74,452 in a PC home.
And a Mac will cost you three times the price of a PC.
“So, as a result, when people are ordering hotel reservations – popping up on the screen are prices that are significantly higher than you would get if you are a PC user,” said Guskey. “As a result, Mac users are paying more for hotels without even knowing it.”
So, it appears big brother is watching and his name is Orbitz.
“You have to be very, very careful because a lot of times a lot of companies will take advantage of you, and Orbitz has been known to do that; and there are several lawsuits out there, pricing discrimination,” said Guskey.
Orbitz says it does not steer customers to more expensive hotels. They just make recommendations and none of it is illegal.
Orbitz tells the Wall Street Journal that Mac users technically are not charged more for the same room. They’re just shown more options for higher-priced rooms while PC users are shown more options for lower-priced rooms.
They say if you always search by “lowest price,” you’ll see the same rates and rooms no matter what kind of computer you use.