The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) promised to come down hard on any business that claimed price rises due to the carbon tax without adequate evidence. There’s a certain pleasing irony in the fact that the first two companies to give formal undertakings not to continue misleading advertising are suppliers of solar panels.
Picture by agentdeclan
Polaris Solar and ACT Renewable Energy made the undertakings after distributing leaflets suggesting that power prices would rise by 20 per cent as a result of the tax. The leaflets claimed those figures came from an independent study, but in fact they were sourced from a newspaper advertisement. While the claims didn’t directly relate to the price of the solar panels the leaflets promoted, the ACCC still found them misleading.
The ACCC is still investigating a much-publicised case where Brumby’s advised franchisees to put up prices and blame the increase on the carbon tax. As we’ve noted before, its position is that businesses can charge whatever they like, but must not attribute a price rise to the carbon tax without a demonstrated and accurate basis for doing so.