ACCC must be ready to pounce on carbon conmen
CHOICE will focus on shonky claims to name and shame
CHOICE welcomes today’s announcement that the ACCC will target businesses attempting to pass on unrelated costs under the guise of the carbon price.
The people’s watchdog says consumers require confidence that the regulator will be an effective deterrent against behaviour including misleading claims and potential price-gouging.
“We believe business should be put on notice that the carbon price is not an excuse to slug households,” says Matt Levey, CHOICE Head of Campaigns.
“CHOICE will do its bit as a conduit for information from the public about questionable practices and as a watchdog to name and shame where necessary.”
“This is especially important in the lead up to the scheme, with the potential for false claims encouraging consumers to get in quick and avoid price rises that may be inflated, unrelated or outrageous.”
CHOICE says there have already been a variety of industry claims about carbon costs that will be passed on, for example in the food and aviation sectors, and it will be important that such claims are put to the test.
“While the Government’s modelling shows relatively modest increases, consumers are no doubt concerned by various increases they are hearing about,” says Mr. Levey.
“It is obvious that many costs are going to be passed through, but it is also disappointing that the focus from some sectors has been on their immediate plans to hit consumers, rather than any move to reduce carbon costs by innovating and competing.”
CHOICE says that while they expect the vast majority of businesses to do the right thing, the threat from the ACCC must be backed up by a willingness to act, including on potential carbon-related scams and dodgy products.
“Whether it is energy saving products and technologies, or possible scams related to carbon credits and permits, we will need to see the regulator take an active role to keep the shonks at bay,” says Mr Levey.
As the people’s watchdog, CHOICE will be on the ground, talking to consumers, and ready to name, shame and report carbon offenders.
Read CHOICE’s carbon guide for consumers.
To arrange an interview please contact:
0430 172 669
Head of Campaigns
0488 214 066