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jeremy 09-06-2000 09:56 PM

This,00.html Computerworld article investigates browser specific pricing by Amazon on certain DVDs. For example, Computerworld checked the listing of "The Planet of the Apes" DVD with a Netscape browser and got a price of $64.99, but when they used Internet Explorer the price came up $74.99. To make sure this was a browser difference and not cookie specific, they cleared the cache and removed all cookies, and then checked another DVD listing. "Men in Black" cost $25.97 with Netscape but cost $23.97 with I.E. When they asked an Amazon spokesperson about the price discrepancy, they replied:

We've learned that certain aspects of our site resonate with customers in different ways, and we are continually fine-tuning our site presentation to see how these variables affect customers' purchasing decisions...Amazon is testing the prices on select merchandise in its DVD store for a limited time, so different shoppers could indeed be charged different prices for the same product
This is very surprising to me. The one thing that I wonder about is how exactly do they decide the price discrepancy?? What do you guys think about this?

jeremy 09-13-2000 10:37 AM

Amazon Refunding The Overcharge Experiment
Looks like Amazon broke down and is refunding people's money. This is a copy of an email a customer received from Amazon:

Greetings from Thank you
for your recent purchase from our DVD store. As you may be aware, we occasionally test
various aspects of our web site--design, layout, and other features--for brief periods to
determine how they resonate with customers. Recently, we tested the discounts we offered on selected DVDs, so
that different discounts for certain titles appeared to individual customers chosen at random. Because you placed an
order for the DVD "The Big Blue - Director's Cut" during this period, we wanted to let you know that we will be
refunding the difference between the price you paid and the lowest test price that we offered on that DVD during
the test period, in your case, $1.49. We also wanted you to know that if we conduct any price tests in the future, all
customers who order items affected by these tests will automatically be refunded any price difference at the
conclusion of the test, thereby ensuring that they will pay the lowest available price. We value your business and
appreciate the trust you have placed in us by being a customer. Thank you for shopping at

bickford 09-13-2000 01:12 PM

I'm glad to see they are automatically refunding money if you were charged more then someone else. I was thinking that could stand to lose a lot of customers if they charged certain people more money then others. I just hope they don't plan on asking people they charged less originally to give them more money later. :)

dbessell 10-10-2000 05:24 PM
Glad to see that correct there mistake. Instead of covering it up and saying it doesn't happen when it does the rectified the problem. This will just remind us all to be careful when purchasing things online...even from well know vendures...


Njan 10-19-2000 03:25 PM

There's no way they could enforce them having charged the wrong amount.. since their website is both their brochure and their store, there's no discrepancy between the two, and hence if they complained that the wrong price was listed, the user could claim under the trades descriptions act that they'd been done wrong by..

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