ACCC warns of carbon tax price hike scams
Market watch top headlines
The consumer watchdog wants to ensure that consumers and small businesses are not duped into paying exorbitant prices on the pretext that it is because of the carbon tax.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims said he had been speaking to consumers and businesses about the impact of the carbon tax which would take effect from July 1.
He said the ACCC had received a number of complaints about businesses asking for unreasonable price hikes on the pretext that it was because of the upcoming carbon tax.
"We are seeing some claims out there that are aimed at getting people to accept price increases that they otherwise would not accept," he said on Thursday.
"We've seen that particularly in the building sector, we've also seen that in the energy related sector.
"We've had examples of people selling solar panels and exaggerating it (the price) by many hundreds of per cent, saying how electricity prices will go up."
Mr Sims said consumers should be aware of the impact of the carbon tax so they are not not duped into paying unnecessarily higher prices.
"We just want to make sure the small businesses and consumers aren't being duped into price increases that they otherwise would push back on," he said.
While the penalty about making false claims about the effect of the carbon tax was a fine of up to $1.1 million for businesses, Mr Sims said in most cases it was sufficient just to give a warning.
"Most of the ways of dealing with these issues up `til now have been through administrative resolution, either by contacting them or sending them a letter and it works very well.
"We haven't taken strong handed action yet because a lot of it we think has been rather silly in a lot of cases."