Feeds

ACCC to target price comparison websites

Telcos also on notice for their confusing pricing

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Consumer affairs regulator the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says it's stepping up its consumer oversight in the telecommunications sector and on the Internet, while outlining its priorities for 2014.

Of particular interest to Australian Internet users will be a continuing watch over misleading advertising in the telecommunications sector, so-called “drip pricing” that drives consumers to distraction when trying to buy seats on airlines or tickets to events, and the integrity of price comparison sites.

Drip pricing happens when the price initially shown to a customer gets incrementally added to with extra fees and charges during the purchase process: starting with a $100 seat price for an event, the customer finds that credit-card processing fees and delivery fees (even when venue-pickup is requested for the tickets) and other fees add another $20 or $30 to the final price.

“Consumers purchasing airfares or event tickets are all too familiar with this practice,” Sims drily noted in his speech, adding that the commission believes it could also be anti-competitive. “There will be enforcement action in this area shortly”.

The commission also plans to clamp down on misleading or deceptive price comparators websites, he said. While Sims didn't nominate a particular site, many such only list prices from their commercial sponsors, according to an investigation by consumer group Choice during 2013.

The ACCC has long taken an activist stance in the telecommunications industry, both in the wholesale market and at the consumer side, and Sims said the commission's battle against misleading advertising in the sector would continue. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?