Why Consumers Feel Abused

Subtitled: Would you prefer to save over $1000?

Maybe I’m becoming a grumpy old lady, maybe everyone I know is grumpy. It seems to me that for the last several years we’ve all been feeling that the consumer experience has deteriorated. Automated computerized customer support. More restrictions on every type of purchase, fewer kindnesses and rewards. Not only is all our personal data being mined for corporate benefit, but the user interfaces often leave us feeling like dirt underfoot (okay – that last might be a little harsh, but I think you understand what I’m saying).

My son and I book flights a few times a year between NJ and AZ. We often will check out dates if we think there’s a chance we might be traveling back and forth. I remember many many years ago my friend Chestnut pointed out very strongly that she had better results using a private browsing window instead of her default setup. Probably there are many folks who have told me this over the years but for some reason I associate the information with Chestnut. ๐Ÿ™‚ I want to go visit my son at the end of June. I checked flights for non-stop first class for the dates I thought would work for me. The cost was over $2000. Even considering the fact that I do indulge myself, that was simply way too expensive for me to justify. Out of curiosity I tried opening a private browser window to see if the price changed. Oh. Em. Gee. $1000 cheaper. Same flights. Today I went to book the tickets. I logged in to the airline directly, gave all my identifying info, picked my flights. $2297.80. No sort of frequent customer discount, no sort of reward or special recognition. I opened up the private browser window. Same flights: $1254.80. That’s a difference of $1043. WHY???? I know why. Because they “know” that I’m going to fly to PHX anyway. But hey – that stranger? – maybe we can hook THEM! Except of course at $2298 I am NOT going to fly. Maddening. Absolutely maddening.

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There's not much to say about me. I discovered SecondLife by accident, wandered in, and decided I wanted to stay. This blog was a chronicle of my adventures and misadventures in SL. It also includes stray thoughts that occur to me as a result of my time in SL. Both I and my avatar are female. We both love water and the beach and gardening and parties and hanging out with friends. Updating this after quite some time. I haven't appeared in SL in many many months (probably over a year by now) but SL has remained in my thoughts. I do miss my SL, but at least I still have contact with some of my friends from there. In the meantime.... this blog has evolved to be about my RL adventures. :) Nowhere near as risque as my SL but I do keep busy. I still like all the things listed above. I didn't have any cats in SL (only ducks and a panda) so my cats feel that they should play starring roles in my posts. :) I didn't do much eating IN SL although certainly food and drink accompanied me in RL while I roamed inworld. Cooking and baking have become more fun and interesting once I redid my kitchen. That renovation took longer and cost more than if I'd done it virtually, but I'm thrilled to have a tangible new kitchen! I hope you like food and drink as well! Thanks for reading!

7 thoughts on “Why Consumers Feel Abused”

  1. I think this is a perfectly good justification for grumpy. Not that you actually need a reason.


    I do think an hour a day of grumpy is essential though, otherwise there are blockages in your system. It’s good for your health.

  2. A private browser window is a new temporary window is separate from your other browser windows/tabs AND from your user data. Nothing gets saved from this session (cookies, other tracking info). A common misperception is that a private window is totally secure – no one can know what you do there. Not really accurate. I did it hoping to “shed” all known information about myself: so i could do a search that was not algorithmically influenced by prior browsing. Obviously it worked. In the private window the search results did not know that I have shown interest in those flights repeatedly. Apparently repeated interest indicates that the vendor should charge more. So good for them. At the charge more price, neither I, nor our mutual friend S who also has a son in AZ, were willing to buy tickets. So they lost the whole sale that way. Yes, I told her about my results. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. ah, that’s very helpful. how often should I schedule a full-out raging fury? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. So… do you use a totally different browser? Or just open a new window? IOW, if you usually use Firefox, do you search with Chrome? FTR, i have noticed at Amazon that going in using my husband’s business account gets better prices than using my account. Plus Prime delivery without a minimum purchase. I think these people are all just sneaky in general. So good for you for out-sneaking them!

  5. no, the same browser – all of the major browsers do this. it’s typically off the File option of the menu. In Firefox and Safari it’s “New Private Window”, Chrome says “new incognito window”. i’m not surprised that you get better rates with a business account. we should probably switch our account to be my husband’s business acount. what a racket. as i titled this – it’s why consumers feel abused – you never know when you’ve actually gotten a fair price.

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