ACCC launches hotline for carbon price claims

Small businesses unsure about carbon price claims can now access a dedicated hotline, designed to make it easier for consumers and business to complain if they suspect a price claim is false.


The Carbon Price Claims Hotline, launched by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, is the latest bid by the ACCC to put people’s minds at ease about the carbon tax.


It follows the release of an updated guide and a series of videos on carbon price claims.


The guide, titled Carbon price claims – Guide for business, addresses issues arising out of engagement with industry associations and small business.


It includes information to support carbon price claims and on dealing with suppliers. It also provides more practical guidance on specific issues experienced by small businesses.


The carbon tax comes into effect on July 1.


Although most businesses won’t directly pay a carbon price, it will have a flow-on effect to a number of goods and services such as fuel, electricity, business travel, freight and waste removal.


The ACCC has warned businesses and consumers to be wary of carbon price claims. The new hotline is designed to help them in this regard.


“The ACCC is concerned that consumers may be duped into accepting a price increase for a product or service because of the carbon price, when the carbon price is actually not the cause,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.


“The ACCC Carbon Price Claims Hotline… and online carbon price claim form will make it easier for consumers and business to complain if they suspect false price claims are being made.”


“Through the Carbon Price Claims Hotline, the ACCC invites complaints about false or misleading carbon price claims.”


Sims said while businesses are free to set their own prices, any claims they make about the impact of the carbon price need to be truthful and have a reasonable basis.


“A business that makes a good faith, reasonable approach to calculating the carbon price for their business has nothing to fear from the ACCC,” Sims said.


“However, businesses seeking to mislead consumers by making false price claims about the carbon price can expect a call.”


“The ACCC hotline will make it easier for consumers and small business to alert the ACCC if what they’re seeing doesn’t look quite right.”


“Consumers or businesses can contact us if they think a carbon price claim is false.”


To report a claim or for further information on the ACCC’s role in relation to carbon price claims, and a range of publications for businesses and consumers, click here.


Suspect claims can also be reported on 1300 303 609.


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