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Utopia Talk / Politics / Online shops detect apple computers and charge more
Peter Walsh
Sat Jul 17 22:37:13

Crackdown on retailers that use Big Brother tactics to identify shoppers with expensive Apple computers - so they can quote higher prices
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has plans to stop consumers losing out

Online retailers are charging more for customers who use expensive computers

Retailers are able to gather large amounts of data from online shoppers

Plans to strengthen the role of the Competition Authority are being considered

The Government is to crack down on greedy online retailers that use Big Brother tactics to identify shoppers with expensive Apple computers so they can quote higher prices.

Officials are examining measures to halt the ‘exploitation’ of consumers by companies, including airlines, which harvest computer data then use it to tailor prices for individual shoppers.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will this week set out plans to tackle rip-off practices, including sneaky fees that are added at checkouts, and forcing companies to switch to an ‘opt in’ system for subscription renewals.

Mr Kwarteng will also target ‘drip pricing’ where customers are quoted a price, only to find that ‘unavoidable’ extra charges added at the checkout. These can include taxes and fees added by airlines, such as extras for luggage. Where charges are optional, such as paying for faster delivery, traders will be told to make it clear what is the cheapest option.

Unscrupulous firms that gather large quantities of customer data, including information that helps them estimate someone’s wealth by detecting the computer they are using, are also likely to face a clampdown.

James Daley, managing director of consumer group Fairer Finance, said: ‘It is totally unacceptable to penalise people based on the type of computer they’re using. It is a way to use data to exploit consumers just because they’ve had the money to buy a more expensive computer – but they could have been gifted it and be of moderate means.’

Prices for Apple’s Mac computers are higher than those of rivals, with the cheapest MacBook Air laptop costing £999 and professional grade Mac Pro computers starting at £5,499. One technology expert said: ‘It’s very easy to tell if someone’s using a Mac, if you know what you’re doing.’

Jake Moore, from the cyber security firm ESET, said: ‘We are all familiar with having to click on the “accept cookies” button, but we forget what that actually means. We immediately hand over information, such as the browser we are using, the device, screen resolution, how much time we spend on a page, where we click next – sometimes even our location.

‘This information is worth millions of pounds and they can also tell if you are a returned user, and I know from experience that websites often then increase their prices.’

The proposals will also include measures to prevent traders continuing to charge customers who have died.

The plans are part of a consultation on ‘Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy’.

The powers of the Competition and Markets Authority may also be strengthened.

Last night, a Government source said: ‘Subscriptions can be convenient, but the shine soon wears off when prices are suddenly hiked. Consumers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops when they want to cancel an unwanted membership.

‘Our upcoming reforms will liberate the British public from maddening subscription traps and other online tricks, so they’re free to spend their hard-earned money on what really matters to them.’
Sat Jul 17 23:34:01
Companies were busted for giving prices based on zip codes a few years back but I doubt anything ever came from it.

I guess the strategy for shopping is only shop on some shit computer and proxy an IP address from the bad part of town.
Sat Jul 17 23:38:33
It's also fairly simple to make your mac look like a PC online.

http://chr...gkdhkhhcedjiklpkjnoahfmg?hl=en for example.

That plus using a VPN out of Detroit should do the trick.
Sat Jul 17 23:39:52
There's ways to work around as mentioned in the extension, but it should work for about 99% of things.

If you really want to guarantee it, you can run Windows or Linux from a VirtualBox VM.
Sam Adams
Sun Jul 18 05:05:12
"It is a way to use data to exploit consumers just because they’ve had the money to buy a more expensive computer"

Yet this is exactly how these same big government douches structure their tax-welfare schemes.
Sun Jul 18 07:18:24
There is also a 24% White tax, 12% male tax coming.
Sun Jul 18 11:30:29
Also you don’t have to have an IP from a bad part of town.

Your IP isn’t associated with your zip code directly. Your zip code is the zip of where your ISP is located (they hand out the IP after all).

So if you’re in a metropolis area with lots of options, they can’t tell the difference (in zip code, but there are other ways) between you and the ghetto.

Anyone have technical questions about this? I’ve written these algorithms in my career, so you’re talking to an expert.
Sun Jul 18 18:53:53
Kind of funny that most the time here sites that use your location list a town 330 miles away. Sometimes they get a little closer.
Sun Jul 18 20:58:30
Probably your ISP location, or they reused a public IP from another one of their branches.

Often mine will report a city about 180 miles away.
Mon Jul 19 01:47:32
Mon Jul 19 02:10:17
What the hell am I listening to
Mon Jul 19 02:16:01
That's an old problem:

Mac users pay more than PC users, says Orbitz

The travel site says Mac users will pay $20 to $30 a night more on hotels than PC users.

June 25, 2012

Mon Jul 19 02:20:24
There will be aggregators that fulfill market demand at certain price points, anyways.

For example, you can use Kayak instead of Orbitz or whatever.

The onus is on the customer to understand how to leverage their money.

Ultimately, that's a good thing. Y'all need more tinfoil hats.
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