Real Life

Kevin Milne: Retailers not advertising GST

Just how much should the price ticket have to tell you?

*I was sure that GST had to be included in all advertised prices. Yet, more and more I find retailers headlining prices that don’t include GST. It gives a totally false impression about what the consumer has to pay.*

I share your sentiments, but you are not quite correct. The law says that if you advertise a price that does not include GST, then it must be clearly stated that this is the case. This is all that advertisers have to do.

It’s why you often see a price followed by the words “plus GST”.

I agree with you – the law is too soft. All advertised prices should be required to include GST. If not, the seller should be prosecuted.

Unfortunately, this is not the case and as you say, the consumer is, at first glance anyway, given a misleading impression. All I can recommend to improve things is that you continue to take a dim view of this practice and give preference to advertisers who include GST in their prices. If they are upfront in this way, then they are more likely to be honest in all their dealings with you.

Something similar that we see a lot at this time of year are blazing headlines making claims such as “Monster Sale 50-70% Off”. If such a claim is made with no clear exceptions stated, such as “This does not include whiteware”, then most of the goods in the store must be reduced by that amount, not just a few. If most goods are not reduced by that amount, then the store is breaking the law.

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