[Bigbrother Australia plays a huge role in expanding Big Sis' " See Something Say Something, With Australia's new carbon tax. Australians speaking against the carbon tax can be fined, also business raising prices on consumer goods may now be fined if consumers believe they are being ripped off. Carbon Cops and Consumer Cops will now be watching. Sorry Mr Business Man, But the ACCC believes that you cant counter act this tax by raising prices to keep your business operational. We all know that the carbon tax is based on false grounds, Its time we all educated each other.]
ACCC to crack down on carbon cheats
The consumer watchdog wants people to dob in businesses that use the incoming carbon tax to gouge customers on price.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) earlier this month launched a carbon price hotline and online claims form for people who fear they’re being ripped off.
The commission doesn’t want consumers being duped into accepting a price increase that’s not appropriate, or being led by false claims to buy products they otherwise wouldn’t.
The ACCC has received 200 complaints so far about attempts to lift the price of beer, taxis, pizza and even a swimming pool.
People have been told the carbon tax will force up electricity prices many times over in an attempt to make them buy solar panels. Some have been encouraged to buy a house now to “beat the carbon tax”.
Others still have been told their gym membership would go up, but if they bought additional years’ coverage it wouldn’t.
Most complaints have been resolved with warning letters, but four “intensive investigations” are under way.
The ACCC can ask businesses to substantiate their claims, write warning letters or issue infringement notices with fines of up to $66,000.
In extreme cases the watchdog can launch Federal Court proceedings with penalties of up to $1.1 million.
“(But) if small business are honest in their dealings with their customers they have nothing to fear from us,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in mid-June when launching the complaints hotline.
The ACCC doesn’t plan to ping business people who have a genuine belief in what they are saying – so long as they don’t just parrot a political fear campaign in order to price gouge.
Small businesses have told been told they too have the right to “push back” on suppliers if they think they are being had.
Suspect price claims can be reported to the ACCC on 1300 303 609 or by visiting www.accc.gov.au/carbon.