Caveat Emptor! = Let the Buyer Beware!
This evening, we’re online, buying airline tickets for our trip to the Basque Country (Navara, to be precise) to visit daughter Catherine, her partner Jon, and a wee little tot – who’ll by then already be a couple of weeks old.
For the first leg of the journey – from the islands to the Scottish mainland, we get a 40% discount off full fares under a government scheme for island residents. We have to book separately, each logged in using our personal credentials.
So, we’re each on our own computer, working through the booking simultaneously. J got done 15 seconds ahead of me (his fingers fly across the keyboard – must be those big hands!), but when I clicked the Purchase button, an error message appeared saying that all tickets at that price band were sold out!
I went back to the beginning to enter the flight dates and times again, and now the prices about doubled!
Then J remembered something from his days flying hither and thither for his civil engineering work. “They’re tracking you!” He reached over, shut down Firefox and opened Google Chrome. “I”ve configured the browsers to delete all cookies on closing the browser, so we could just restart Firefox … But let’s be sure and use another browser entirely ; that way they won’t know you’ve been on already, unless they are now monitoring IP addresses as well.” He had to explain the IP address bit.
I entered all the details again. Price? Outbound price same as originally! Inbound price? Just £9 more.
So, even with an online seller that’s reputable, like a big airline, follow the principle of Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware. When you’re browsing online to buy something, make your choice and note the details. Close down your browser and (if not set to do so automatically), clear cookies. Then go back to check price and buy.