If you’re a Mac user you know some of the connotations that go along with Macs. Yes, they’re expensive. Yes, many wealthy schools and people have Macs. Yes, Apple is a large company that has made quite a bit of money on their flashy (aka beautiful) products and unique marketing scheme. But, is that really cause for making people pay more online?
Yes, you heard me correctly.
Being a Mac user I can’t say that I’ve come across this problem. Mostly because the site found to have done this kind of marketing was Orbiz, which is a site I don’t particularly use, because I’ve not needed to book hotels before. But several articles from US News, CNN, and CNet have given information about this type of business practice, one that I find personally to be unethical. The CEO of Orbitz comments on the matter (From CNNs report):
“CEO Barney Harford told CNN that Orbitz recommendation results are part of an attempt to pair customers with the hotel they’d probably pick. In this case, Orbitz will offer recommendations based on what other PC or other Mac users selected as their final hotel, on the assumption that spending habits are the same, he said.
“What we have found is … that Mac users are 40% more likely to book four- or five-star hotels than PC users,” Harford said. “That lines up with (the fact that) Mac users are typically more willing to spend more money on higher-end computers.”
Now when one reads this 40% is a pretty high number. But, what if you consider that 40% of students are the purchasers of Mac computers? According to SeattlePi reports, Microsoft hasn’t been very attractive to this new generation. Though the information is almost 2 years old the trend is apparent on college campuses, coffee shops, and cyber cafes across the nation. Students are a fairly large sum of mac users, and I ask why should they pay more? Aren’t loans enough to pay off?
Of course this is all here-say as well, there is still a lot of information that isn’t accounted for. There is still that 60% of Mac users to take into account. There is still the fact that some people receive Macs as gifts like I did with mine (I’d like to know what % that is). But, regardless of that information, it causes a kind of socioeconomic profiling that I simply cannot reconcile, even if it’s for the sake of marketing. It’s almost as bad as The Nations report on how women pay more for everyday items (even medical insurance) than men do. It’s simply unreasonable. If The United States is a nation that stands for equality, then why are we being reduced to stereotypes based off something as small as the kind of computers we use? Why do human lives and choices have dollar signs all over them at all? All I know from this information is I won’t be using Orbitz anytime soon…or later in my life.