Simon Corbell has made it known we’re joining in a national campaign to make sure the displayed petrol prices are actually available to motorists (rather than just the lucky ones with the applicable shopper docket):
“At the July 2012 Consumer Affairs Forum (CAF), Ministers agreed to consider a national approach to the display of price information on fuel price boards,” Mr Corbell said.
Following this agreement, public consultation was carried out and based on those submissions, a final decision-making paper is being drafted which will include detailed options for Ministers.
“Consumers are rightly concerned about how discounted prices, including shopper docket fuel discounts, are displayed on fuel price boards. Often these prices are displayed more prominently than their relevant terms and conditions and the undiscounted price.
“This could lead to consumers potentially being misled about the price of the petrol on offer.
Other areas of concern include differences between the price displayed on fuel price boards and the actual price charged, the display of only one or two fuels on price boards, the lack of visibility of price boards, the lack of consistency in the way information is displayed between fuel retailers, and the display of prices for out-of-stock fuel.
“These concerns have resulted in financial and non-financial detriment for some motorists, including confusion about what prices are on offer, making price comparisons between fuel retailers more difficult, paying a higher price than what was originally observed on the fuel price board, and disputes with fuel retailers over price differences.
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) provides generic consumer protection against false, misleading and deceptive conduct, ‘bait advertising’ and multiple pricing, but there is currently no national approach to regulate the display of information to motorists on fuel price boards.
“If a national approach was implemented, consumers could benefit from greater clarity around the price of fuel, particularly if all displays are required to show all of the fuels available for sale.
“I look forward to receiving the final paper and informing the community of the decisions made by the Consumer Affairs Ministers following the CAF in July,” Mr Corbell said.