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Capital One discriminates by browser - report

Finance firm Capital One stands accused of altering the interest rates on its loans based on a rather unique metric: the browser used to access the company's website.

The strange claim comes from an e-mail received by The Consumerist, which was sent by a US reader who was trying to find a loan for a new car.

After having received an advert from Capital One offering loans at 3.10 per cent, Devin - for that is the reader's name - visited the Capital One website, only to find that the loan rate was 3.5 per cent.

Devin explains: "I tried to use their little payment calculator, but the Flash-based widget wouldn't work properly in the Firefox Beta so I loaded up Safari to try." It's at that point that the story takes a turn for the unexpected.

While using Safari, Devin found that the standard rate suddenly dropped to 2.7 per cent.

It wasn't just a preference for Apple-based custom, either: Devin found that the rate changed dramatically with each browser he chose, but remained static within that browser - demonstrating, it would appear, that Capital One discriminates against certain browser types.

The chart below demonstrates the startling disparity that Devin discovered.

While no-one was available at Capital One to comment on this story at the time of writing, one thing seems clear: if you want a loan, it may be worth downloading Google Chrome.