Will You Get Different Prices Depending On Where You're Surfing?
from the one-price-for-New-Yorkers,-another-for-Texans dept
Various services are getting much better at figuring out what part of the world you happen to be surfing the internet from. Sometimes, this can be useful, in helping to customize a search to your particular needs. Some companies use it to try to throw up local advertising. While some are worried about the privacy aspects, a bigger question may be how far the customization will go. A few years ago, Amazon.com ran into a public relations nightmare when they revealed that they were offering different prices to different visitors. Even if that’s a more efficient way of doing business, something felt “unfair” about it to most people. Now, some expect websites to start doing something similar based on geography. That is, if you’re surfing from a higher income area, the prices you see will be higher. Again, if this does actually happen, expect there to be something of a backlash — even if it is what happens out there in the brick-and-mortar world. Local stores often charge based on the region they’re in, and not on some nationally agreed upon price. Still, if this does happen, it won’t be long before services are available to make it appear as if you’re surfing from a cheap region, and the whole point of the geographically differentiated pricing system will go away.