ACCC Is Cracking Down On Drip Pricing From Travel And Entertainment Websites

One day on the internet, the price you're advertised might just end up being the price that you pay. The ACCC is part of an international crackdown on drip pricing, the practice we're all too familiar with where a website will show you one price when you start a booking, but by the time you're entering your credit card details, you'll see a bunch of extra fees and charges.

Concert image via Shutterstock

Over the last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been punishing companies like Ticketmaster and Ticketek for drip pricing, but Airbnb, Jetstar and Virgin have also been in the crosshairs in recent months. The move is intended to make online pricing more clear for anyone buying concert or plane tickets, or booking accommodation either locally or internationally, to make sure that the prices that are advertised across the 'net — especially on search pages like Google and the landing pages of these websites where attractive deals are often posted — are actually realistic.

Ticketmaster and Ticketek, for example, were slapped on the wrist for adding 'processing', 'handling' and 'delivery' fees on top of online ticket prices, although these fees were entirely unavoidable. Airbnb had a mandatory Service Fee and Cleaning Fee, when selected by the host, that were not disclosed before the booking process started. There's no excuse for these fees not being clearly stated upfront, but the internet is a wild place, and that's what we need the ACCC for.

You can find a bit more on the ACCC's tips and guidelines around drip pricing here. [ACCC]

  • Be aware of misleading drip pricing practices when shopping online for services, particularly in the airline, ticketing, accommodation and vehicle rental sectors.
  • Shop around and be aware that you may need to pay more than what was advertised. Consider ALL the charges together. Don’t just focus on the advertised price – the cheapest advertised price may not be the cheapest final price.
  • Be prepared to back out of the transaction, especially when you start to encounter additional charges.
  • Look out for pre-selections and make sure you reject anything you do not want to purchase. Thoroughly check your booking before you make any final payments.

This story originally appeared on Gizmodo.


Comments

    The words "ACCC" and "cracking down" used in the same sentence are laughable. I'm sure this will lead to very little...

      [2005] ACCC: We don't agree with the airline credit card surcharges. So... airlines... you are being naughty.

      Agreed. Tell the useless bureaucrats to start with jetstar.com.au and Jetstar's competition, then we might take them seriously.

    What pisses me off with ticketek, is that you see a sports event or concert and says "tickets from xx dollars" when you look into it further adult tickets are normally 50% more.

    I was looking to go to the cricket, platinum seats said from "$60" but adult prices were $101 so i said that Cricket Australia can GAGF.

      Of course there's competition with ticket prices. In Australia there's a duopoly just like many other duopolies consumer protection organisations have helped to get established. There's Ticketek and Ticket Master, what more could you need? That's competition isn't it???

      Last edited 25/11/15 1:10 pm

    They are the biggest scalpers in this country.

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