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If you search for any courses in Udemy, when you are not logged in and Incognito (important, as they do cookie tracking and mix ups with pixel track as well).

You will see a significantly low price.

But,as an existing user, the moment I sign in

I have seen a price jumps to more than 500% ! (This will also happen if you serach for a course logging in from the same browser, even if you are not signed in, mostly cookie tracking.)

Here is an example screen shot. Price of a course is $29.99.

enter image description here

Now, sign-in, and boom: I am being sold with a markup of 517% !!!

enter image description here

How is this even legal? Does it not amount to classic bait & switch?

I am aware some travel booking sites do empoy these tactics, but vaguely remember they got a slap on their wrists and I am not sure if they still do that.

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  • Can some one care to explain the down vote?
    – Simsons
    Jun 13 '21 at 12:24
  • This is not a "bait & switch"; a bait and switch is where a company advertises product A, and then claims to be out of product A and tries to pivot ("switch") the customers to product B, which is usually more expensive (this was originally to thwart advertising laws). This may fall afoul of other Australian consumer protections laws, of which I am not familiar, but the question to ask is whether price discrimination is legal based on returning customer status (I'm petty sure it is legal in the other direction, I feel it is so likely).
    – sharur
    Jun 13 '21 at 14:04
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    I did not down vote, but a suspect it may be because a) the title seems necessarily sensationalized (517% or 5% is generally irrelevant) and b) because as a general rule, it seems like the answer is "because they want to and there is no rule preventing it". There may indeed be an Australian consumer protection law forbidding this practice, but I wouldn't assume so. And travel booking flights may indeed be "bait & switching" with different products (flight times, airlines, hotel brands/locations, room types, etc) as they do have a limited amount of each, due to selling physical goods.
    – sharur
    Jun 13 '21 at 14:19
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    From a legal perspective (disregarding some "de minimins" limit, or something that can be explained by currently fluctuations), it doesn't matter if one is wronged at 5% or 500%. As for M. Shkreli, his drug price hikes did not send him to prison; that they were 5% or 500% had no bearing on his securities fraud (other than forcing him into the spotlight).
    – sharur
    Jun 13 '21 at 14:59
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    A low price for new customers is a very, very standard business practice. It is incentive to get them to try your product or service. Jun 13 '21 at 15:17
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Price discrimination is not prima facie illegal in Australia

The former Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) prohibited it in s49 but that was repealed in 1995.

Certain pricing strategies can be unlawful but selling at different prices to different people isn’t (unless the basis is a protected class under anti-discrimination law).

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