Steane Klose | May 8, 2008

We should be used to this by now in Australia… Our beloved Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has pointed its finger at Coles Express for leading petrol prices higher during petrol price peaks. The ACCC has recommended that those of us who live in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide should shop around...

"Analysis of petrol pricing in a 9 a.m. 'snapshot' today shows that Coles Express sites have set the highest prices in the four capital cities. Today in all four eastern capitals Coles Express was setting the highest prices at a significant number of its sites, which is consistent with a recent trend," Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Petrol Commissioner, Mr Pat Walker, warned.

In the four cities mentioned, petrol prices tend to cycle over seven days. Prices are often the lowest on a Wednesday morning and highest on a Wednesday night or Thursday morning with prices varying on any given day by between 15 and 20 cents per litre.

The ACCC further advises that "Consumers must look carefully at price boards to check the competition in their area before topping up their tanks.

"It is important that consumers do not automatically rely on their petrol discount voucher to necessarily deliver the lowest price. In these cases, loyal shoppers redeeming their voucher at the highest priced sites are paying much more than they need to," Mr Walker said.

So, we have our supermarket cartels (Coles and Safeway) not only driving prices of our groceries higher (despite the cost of some produce such as milk and eggs falling) but also the pump price of fuel as they attempt to claw back the petrol discounts that they are offering to ‘loyal customers’.

And the ACCC is doing…?

Luckily, as Australians we are used to paying through the nose for many of our purchases, so continually digging deeper for lifes neccessities should be something that we take in our stride...

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