Orbitz and Buy.com’s Sales Tactics: Cluttered and Confusing

By  |  Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Orbitz LogoCnet’s Greg Sandoval has a good story on use of “loyalty” programs by Orbitz and Buy.com-which are basically attempts to get you to sign up for services that charge you monthly fees as you check out during the buying process. A meaningful number of shoppers apparently sign up for these services by accident, and the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is investigating some of the companies that provide them. Good.

I wrote a few months ago about my own personal gripe with Orbitz, which kept tacking charges onto my ticket for things I hadn’t asked forthat I think should be illegal, period. Of course, both Orbitz and Buy.com say they provide the “loyalty” services because they think customers want them, and they say very few people complain. But maybe one of the lessons here is that online check-out transactions should be streamlined and distraction-free, period. (Amazon.com’s shopping experience can be cluttered, but once you pay up, it does a good job of making it simple.)


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Wendy K Says:

    I've seen this page. It's pretty clear that if you sign up, you'll be charged.

    We like the site.

  2. Chris Says:

    I really like buying from Buy.com. I never experienced anything negative while buying from them.

  3. Robert Says:

    I think it’s clear that users are signing up for a subscription program when they see those pages. Button to opt out could be bigger and more obvious, though.

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