If you shop online, does your browser affect the price you're quoted? That's what some shoppers suspect, citing variant prices for car loans that seemed to depend on which browser was used - in one case, Firefox, Safari or Chrome.
A poster on Slashdot reported:
"Someone wrote in to The Consumerist to report an interesting discovery: while shopping online for a car loan, Capital One offered him different rates, depending on the browser he used! Firefox yielded the highest rate at 3.5%, Opera took second place with 3.1%, Safari was only 2.7%, and finally, Google's Chrome browser afforded him the best rate of all: 2.3%! A commenter on the article claims to have been previously employed by Capital One, and writes: If you model the risk and revenue of applicants, the type of browser shows up as a significant variable. Browsers do predict an account's performance to some degree, and it will affect the rates you will view. It isn't a marketing test. I was still a bit dubious, but at least one of her previous comments backs up her claims to have worked for a credit card company. Considering the outcry after it was discovered that Amazon was experimenting with variable pricing a few years back, it seems surprising that consumers would be punished (or rewarded), based solely on the browser they happen to be using at the time!"
With so much rich data now available about consumer behavior, it’s possible that companies that are able to routinely and legally practice price discrimination - such as lenders and insurers - might find value in looking at technology choices as predictors of risk or price sensitivity.