Questioning the use of opaque web practices among low-cost airline carriers
Torres, Ann M.
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Barry, C. and Torres, A. (2008). Questioning the ethics of using opaque web practices among low-cost airline carriers. In Sixteenth European Conference on Information Systems. Galway, Ireland. June 9 - 11 2008. (CD-ROM).
Modest attention has been given to the subtle ethical issues of ¿best practice¿ on the Internet, such as the exploitation of Web technologies to inhibit or avoid customer service. Increasingly, some firms are using Websites to create distance between themselves and their consumers in specific areas of their operations, while simultaneously developing excellence in sales transaction completion via selfservice. This paper examines findings from a study on the self-service Websites of low-cost airline carriers (LCCs) in Ireland. The LCCs¿ adoption of technology has meant more efficient flight options and enhanced price transparency within the industry. Yet despite advances, a number of LCCs use their information systems in a conflicting manner when managing customer interactions. The ¿opaque¿ Web practices many LCCs employ appear to be intentional in design and are contrary to the ethos of designing a ¿good system¿. Accordingly, the LCC sector has come under greater scrutiny for engaging in ¿unfair practices¿ and violating consumer protection law. The paper notes the teaching of information systems development (ISD) and marketing assumes ethicality in their practice. While these business disciplines are central to the success of self-service Websites, there is a gap between the disciplines¿ theoretical ideals and their practice.