Pixmania (June 2013)

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On Pixmania, a site that mainly sells consumer electronics, after a user has added some computer RAM to their basket they pre-select a checkbox to add an extended warranty onto the lightbox as they ask if the user wants to proceed to checkout, see the image below. The second image shows that while in the… Read more »

Seetickets.com (March 2013)

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Below is a screenshot from Seetickets.com (taken March 2013). The tickets purchased in this example total £83.81. However, there’s a pre-checked “cancellation protection” fee for £3.00 that is not shown in the price anywhere on the page. Hitting “Buy tickets” then debited the credit card for £86.81, shown below on the confirmation page: Unwary users… Read more »

hoseasons.co.uk (June 2012)

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Below you can see a screengrab of the basket on hoseasons.co.uk after the user has clicked on the “book” button for a holiday listed as £259.00. You can see the original price (black arrow added for clarity on left to indicate) and the two extra items in the basket (black arrow on right – also… Read more »

123-reg.co.uk (March 2011)

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If you search for a specific domain name on 123-reg.co.uk (last recorded July 2010), 123-reg does you the non-courtesy of preselecting a load of other top-level domains for you (.co, .co.uk, .eu, etc), many of them preselected with 2-year rather than a cheaper 1-year duration. To their credit, they don’t try to hide it –… Read more »

Rac.co.uk insurance (October 2010)

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This example combines a number of different Dark Patterns. When buying insurance on Rac.co.uk, the user eventually reaches a “Quote” page, equivalent to a basket view page. Two prominent monthly payment options are shown. There is in fact a third, substantially cheaper option. If you look at the grey box below the “Confirm & buy”… Read more »

Air New Zealand (September 2010)

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In the Air New Zealand screengrab below, you can see that the insurance purchase checkbox is pre-selected, making it an opt-out action. (Note: this occurs on the airnewzealand.co.nz but does not seem to occur on the .co.uk version). Air New Zealand – Dark Pattern

iStockPhoto (September 2010)

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When users add photos to their basket on iStockPhoto, they have to be careful as largest (and most expensive) option is set as the default, and this is not strongly emphasised. The result here is that a small but notable percentage of users will buy the most expensive item without realising. The honest approach would… Read more »

Register.com (August 2010)

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When renewing a domain name using register.com, they automatically default the period to two years (rather than one) and sneak in private domain registration, shown below. Register.com (Grabbed August 2010)