Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The ACCC hurt consumers yet again

Courtesy of the Daily Reckoning comes this interesting report:
Late last week the ACCC told supermarket chain Coles that it mustn't offer customers a 40 cent discount on fuel. You've probably read the news articles covering the story. But not surprisingly none of them point out the idiocy of the demand by the ACCC.

Of course, the Coles special offer had strings attached. Customers would have to spend over $300 to get the discount, but still, the chance to get your petrol at 70 cents per litre rather than $1.10 isn't a bad deal.

Sure, you could argue that Coles just inflates it's prices to pay for the cheaper fuel. If you think that then you don't have to take them up on the offer. But if you shop at Coles all the time anyway, then it's a pretty good deal.

However, according to the ACCC it's a bad deal and it had to be stopped.

Why? Here's what the ACCC had to say about the offer:

"However there is a balance to be found between providing consumers with discounts on the one hand, and on the other offering significant price cuts for sustained periods or repeated offers which might have deeper impact on competition in the long term. The ACCC is not satisfied on information currently available that this promotion struck the right balance."