Major Australian discount store Big W has advised the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that it will withdraw current dual ticketing in its stores after the ACCC raised its concerns, ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today.
"The ACCC welcomes Woolworths' cooperation in this matter.
"In response to telephone calls to the ACCC Price Exploitation Hotline* the ACCC on 11 January asked Big W to explain aspects of its current dual ticketing including:
- the introduction of dual ticketing some five months prior to the introduction of the Goods and Services tax; and
- the 10 per cent price increase indicated on the tickets.
"The ACCC requested information about the basis of the 10 per cent price rise.
"The concern was that consumers may be misled into thinking that all dual ticketed items will rise on 1 July and a response was sought from Woolworths. In fact some may fall, or not rise by as much as 10 per cent, due to reductions in indirect taxes flowing through to the checkout, or as a result of promotions such as mid-winter/stocktake sales, or both. These were the concerns raised with Woolworths.
On 2 February the ACCC requested the tickets be withdrawn.
"The ACCC is not opposed in principle to the use of dual ticketing to assist business and consumers in the transition to the New Tax System on 1 July 2000. But it should not be used as a marketing tool if it has the potential to mislead consumers".
*The Price Exploitation Hotline [1300 302 502] is available to consumers and business to report suspected price exploitation and obtain information about what constitutes price exploitation.
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