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e-scores for consumers

Jeanne Boyarsky
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Today I read in the NYTimes about a company creating e-scores for individual consumers. Which is basically a measure of whether you are likely to spend money and what to pitch to you.

In other news, some supermarkets like Krogers are already starting adjust prices (coupons) based on what you buy. The theory is that coupons can be targeted to customers where the coupon will make the difference in buying vs not buying. Seems like it harms the consumer though. If one buys Tropicana Orange Juice every week, why provide a coupon to that customer. He's hooked. Whereas someone who goes to different stores or buys different products gets a discount to try something new. That's a strong incentive to not use the loyalty cards unless something is on sale that requires it. I've probably used my supermarket card twice int he past year - on the rare occasion a sale only applied if you used the card.

This whole thing feels creepy though. Should a movie star pay $100 for said orange juice because he can afford it? That's not how stores work. But it is the logical implication of this system.


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Jeanne Boyarsky
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Note that escores claims to only use this system for evaluating potential customers. Even if that is true now, I don't think it will be for long. And Krogers is already starting to do the charging different prices thing. The last paragraph of the NYTimes article really says it:

“I’m troubled by the idea that some people will essentially be seeing ads for subprime loans, vocational schools and payday loans,” Professor Pasquale says, “while others might be seeing ads for regular banks and colleges, and not know why.”
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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I'm positive I've already noticed "diminishing returns" checkout coupons for products I buy at the Giant nearby. If you use a checkout coupon, then they are very likely to give you another, less valuable one (a "$1 off two" coupon will lead to a "$1 off three" coupon.)


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Paul Clapham
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You may already have read the articles which said that Orbitz was charging higher prices to customers who were connecting from a Mac computer.
Bear Bibeault
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Paul Clapham wrote:You may already have read the articles which said that Orbitz was charging higher prices to customers who were connecting from a Mac computer.

That's not accurate. They were presenting higher-priced choices to Mac users, but were not charging more for the same choices.


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Jeanne Boyarsky
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Not charging more; directing them to more expensive products. Which is what the e-scores are doing. I don't like that either. But if the hotels themselves starting doing that, I'd be very upset!
Pat Farrell
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    5

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:This whole thing feels creepy though. Should a movie star pay $100 for said orange juice because he can afford it? That's not how stores work. But it is the logical implication of this system.


You do know that a Chevy Tahoe and a Cadillac Escalade are the same truck, right? You can get every feature that the Caddy includes on the lower priced Chevy. But if you go to a Cadillac store, you pay more money.

While a single store doesn't charge different prices to different people, in the real world, there are lots of stores that sell the same products for more money. Think Nordstrom vs Macy's.

Jeanne Boyarsky
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Pat Farrell wrote:While a single store doesn't charge different prices to different people, in the real world, there are lots of stores that sell the same products for more money. Think Nordstrom vs Macy's.

Yes and that is fine. People are choosing to go to the more expensive store for prestige or the like. If we both go the Macy's, I expect we both get charged the same thing. Or you get charged less for having the store card or a coupon.
Pat Farrell
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote: Or you get charged less for having the store card or a coupon.


For years, maybe even ten, the local grocery store charges more if you don't have a store card.

Same item, two customers pay two prices.
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Joined: May 26, 2003
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Pat,
And you know what the rules are to get the lower price. If you choose not to have a store card, you pay more. Tradeoff. What if there were secret cards that you could only get if you were X. That's what this e-score thing is like.
Pat Farrell
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote: What if there were secret cards that you could only get if you were X. That's what this e-score thing is like.


Would it be OK if they published that there were secret cards that get discounts?
Not that they would tell you what you had to do to get the secret card.

I agree that its sleezy, but I'm not sure its really as bad as folks are making it seem.

 
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