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Simon moves on servo price boards

By johnboy - 10 May 2013 12

petrol price board

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.

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Simon moves on servo price boards
magiccar9 2:41 pm 10 May 13

magiccar9 said :

I don’t venture to the Northside so I can’t be certain about them servos over that side.

I apologise for my horrendous grammar in that post. Oops!

magiccar9 2:38 pm 10 May 13

Deref said :

Most, if not all, of the servos offering those discounts advertise the discounted price most prominently with the disclaimer in “fine print” and the standard price much less prominently. QED.

Using the May 1st Petrol Roundup from this site as an example, I disagree. They all have their discounted prices clearly labeled and quite easily distinguishable – Woolworths even go to the extreme of highlighting it in green on their boards.
I’m yet to find a servo where the distinction can’t be made from well before their driveway to enter. I could just be lucky in my particular outings – I don’t venture to the Northside so I can’t be certain about them servos over that side.

Deref 1:28 pm 10 May 13

magiccar9 said :

Deref said :

It’s intentionally misleading.

Would you be able to explain to me what’s misleading about it?I’m not sure I agree with you, but willing to listen to a solid argument.

Most, if not all, of the servos offering those discounts advertise the discounted price most prominently with the disclaimer in “fine print” and the standard price much less prominently. QED.

magiccar9 1:00 pm 10 May 13

Deref said :

It’s intentionally misleading.

Would you be able to explain to me what’s misleading about it?I’m not sure I agree with you, but willing to listen to a solid argument.

Deref 11:40 am 10 May 13

It’s intentionally misleading. Few people probably fall for it these days, but that’s not the point.

Onya Simon.

HiddenDragon 10:50 am 10 May 13

I support this, and I look forward to the principle of truth in advertising extending to government/political information/PR.

Henry82 10:41 am 10 May 13

magiccar9 said :

I know when I need to fill up I just do it. I don’t waste time driving around to see who can give me 1c less.

i agree with the 1c time wasting argument, but it could make the difference between someone filling up their car completely, and just putting $20 in.

Also, it’s pretty misleading.

magiccar9 10:21 am 10 May 13

Ian said :

I’d think it’s been a long time since Simon has ever paid for his own petrol, or cared about the price.

I was tempted to say it, save for the angry comments from the politically correct.
Does anyone actually even care that much about the prices? I know when I need to fill up I just do it. I don’t waste time driving around to see who can give me 1c less. Something I can’t avoid so why bitch and moan about it?

Ian 10:12 am 10 May 13

magiccar9 said :

Perhaps Corbel is just getting a little frazzled with trying to work out what he needs to pay at the pump.

I’d think it’s been a long time since Simon has ever paid for his own petrol, or cared about the price.

These concerns have resulted in financial and non-financial detriment for some motorists,

Oh no, someone misinterpreted a price board and paid an extra $2-4 for a tank of petrol.

Ghettosmurf87 9:55 am 10 May 13

As long as they are displaying the UN-discounted price of standard unleaded somewhere on their boards, I don’t think there is an issue.

I think the issue is when they ONLY display the discounted figure, especially if it is not made clear that this is the price AFTER using a docket.

While most places display either both prices or the full price, I’m sure I’ve seen a few places around that only display the discount, which can be deceptive.

IrishPete 9:32 am 10 May 13

With the proliferation of different fuels, I have never seen a Caltex (Woolworths) or Shell (Coles) price board showing all the fuels:

E10
Unleaded
Premium
The Other Premium
Diesel
LPG
even biodiesel (but not in Canberra)

If every one of them was shown at full price and docket discount the board would be huge.

So those of us not using E10 or ULP sometimes have to take a punt and assume that the servo advertising cheap basic petrol is also cheap for the others. Often they are not.

But there’s such a thing as over-regulation, so I’d be happy with a rule that allows a servo not to display prices at all, but if they are going to display them, that there needs to be a standard format so it is not misleading advertising.

One size fits all regulation has the potential to further disadvantage smaller operators, who may not be able to afford to update their signs.

IP

magiccar9 9:20 am 10 May 13

While I’m all for standardising the boards – and including prices for premium fuels – I’ve never been confused by prices advertised on them.
“Consumers are rightly concerned about how discounted prices, including shopper docket fuel discounts, are displayed on fuel price boards”
Really? Is it that difficult to look in your bag/hand/car and see if you have a discount docket. If you do you look at the ‘Discounted Unleaded” part of the board. If you don’t have a docket then you don’t look at the discounted section. Not a difficult task. Every single board I’ve seen has both displayed (at minimum they only have the full price displayed – in which case it isn’t difficult to subtract 4/8 cents) so there is no excuse.

Perhaps Corbel is just getting a little frazzled with trying to work out what he needs to pay at the pump.

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