Wednesday, 16 December 2015 23:55

ACCC sweeps for drip pricing in annual global initiative


The ACCC has joined the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network’s Internet sweep, showing improvements to disclosure in online booking processes

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently swept a range of websites and mobile apps for conduct known as ‘drip pricing’, as part of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN)’s annual initiative involving over 50 consumer protection agencies around the world.

The ACCC says that it swept the websites and mobile apps of over 130 traders offering online bookings for services such as flights, accommodation, cruises, trains, vehicle hire, car parking and entertainment ticketing. The aim was to determine whether any of these traders were engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct.

“Results from the ACCC’s sweep last month indicate an improvement in the online booking processes among the travel, tourism and leisure sectors,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard has said.

“The sweep identified 15 traders for follow-up action, with ACCC staff finding instances where fees and charges were not adequately disclosed as early as possible in these traders’ booking processes. These fees and charges included compulsory booking fees or credit card surcharges which were not disclosed until the payment stage.

“Businesses should be mindful of the overall impression created by booking processes, ensuring there is adequate and early disclosure of both compulsory and non-compulsory fees. This is particularly important as more businesses move towards mobile platforms, given mobile websites and apps are constrained in the amount of information that can be clearly conveyed to readers,” Rickard said.

So, what is drip pricing?

More below, please read on. 

The ACCC explains that it is ‘where a headline price is advertised at the beginning of an online purchasing process and additional fees and charges (which may be unavoidable or applied in most transactions) are then incrementally disclosed (or ‘dripped’). This can result in consumers paying a higher price than the advertised price, spending more than they realise and making it more difficult to compare offers.’

Since the ACCC began its work on drip pricing, the Commission reports that ‘a number of businesses in the travel, accommodation and ticketing industries have adjusted their online pricing practices to improve disclosure of fees and charges.’

The sweep activity complements the ACCC’s broader work in drip pricing, which remains a focus for the ACCC as part of its current priority area of systemic consumer issues in the online marketplace.

Consumer tips on drip pricing are available on the ACCC’s website.

More details about drip pricing and Jetstar Airbnb, Ticketek, Ticketmaster and others here.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here


The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.


Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News