The Australia tax: More examples of overcharging by tech vendors come to light
The list is growing: more examples submitted of global tech vendors charging Australians more for tech products than consumers in other countries.
With the recent announcement of a parliamentary inquiry into why Australians are being overcharged for technology compared to overseas customers, more and more examples of companies that change Australians significantly more than their US and European customer are coming to light.
In this month's APC magazine, we've listed one blatant example: the cost to Australians of some games in the Steam Store. In one example identified by APC (now updated with latest pricing), the game Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 sold in the Steam Store costs AU$99.99 for Australians. The very same game, on the same order page is US$59.99 (around $63 Aus) for American customers. Even British customers pay less at 39.99 pounds, which is the equivalent of AU$67.87.
APC wants to help the parliamentary inquiry into overcharging of Australian customers. Please send in examples of overcharging and we’ll create a directory of the worst excesses. It’s time to truly expose the overcharging rorts.
Give us your example of overcharging. We'll verify it and then publish it. It will help us if your submission meets the following requirements:
- The product whose prices are being compared has to be EXACTLY the same product: same brand, same model. It can't be almost the same, or similar technically but a different brand or model, as these will invalidate any direct price comparison.
- Products sold in Australia and outside Australia by the same company can have subtle differences, so check the model number.
- Please provide a URL for the Australian and US sellers linking directly to the product page showing the prices.
Examples from readers below, listed in the order they were received.
|PRODUCT ||AUS SELLER || AUS PRICE ||OS SELLER ||OS PRICE ||SUBMITTER'S COMMENT |
|Call of Duty MW3 ||Steam Store ||AUD99.99 ||Steam Store ||USD59.99 || |
|Call of Duty MW2 ||Steam Store ||AUD89.99 ||Steam Store ||USD20 || This isn't even the latest game |
|Adobe Creative Cloud ||Adobe ||AUD62.99 ||Adobe [country detect] ||USD50 ||That's an extra AU$151 per year for software that's delivered electronically from the exact same file on the exact same servers. |
|Adobe CS6 Master collection ||Adobe ||AUD4,344 ||Adobe [US store] ||USD2,599 ||This is for a downloadable product. No reason for the price hike. |
|Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile Speaker || Apple ||AUD499 ||Apple US ||USD299 ||Nearly 65% more expensive in Australia than America...?? Even the UK price is $100 less than Australia..!! |
| Call of Duty MW3 Elite Subscription || via XBox Live ||AUD64 || via XBox Live in US ||USD50 || The MW3 Elite subscription, is sold on XBox Live Australia for $64 (4000 MS points), compared with $50US for US customers. |
Like iTunes, online distribution means there's no additional overhead, so we pay $14 extra, well, because we suckers.
|Corel VideoStudio Pro X5 Ultimate (Download Version) ||Corel Aus ||AUD129 ||Corel US ||USD99.99 ||US customers also receive a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, while Australians don't. |
|HP toner catridges ||Officeworks ||AUD118.56 ||HP US ||USD69.99 || |
|Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium to Professional Upgrade ||Microsoft Store Aus ||AUD 204.99 ||Microsoft US Store ||USD89.95 || |
|Windows 7 Home Premium to Ultimate Upgrade ||Microsoft Store Aus ||AUD219.90 ||Microsoft US Store ||USD139.95 || |
|Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 (2 PCs / 1 user) ||Microsoft Store Aus ||AUD379 ||Microsoft US Store ||USD279.99 || |
|Microsoft Office Professional 2010 (2 PCs / 1 user) ||Microsoft Store Aus ||AUD849 ||Microsoft US Store ||USD499.99 || |
|Dell Alienware MX 14 Gaming Laptop ||Dell Australia ||AUD1,799 ||Dell US ||USD1,099 || The price difference between the Alienware M14x, M17x and M18x is hugely different between DELL Australia and DELL in the US. |
|Cyberlink PowerDirector ||Cyberlink ||AUD106.95 ||Cyberlink ||USD82.95 ||All you need to do is switch the country on the Cyberlink site and you get different prices even though it is the same software from the same web site. Pick Australia and you get a higher price. Really annoying. |
|Max Payne 3 Special Edition for PS3 ||EB Games ||AUD148 ||GameStop (EB Games Parent Company) ||USD99.99 ||What can one say .... |
|CA ISS (Total Defense) Security Suite ||Total Defense ||AUD79.99 ||Total Defense ||USD48.99 || |
|Lego Millenium Falcon (Falcon used as example of wider Lego trend) ||Toys R Us ||AUD249.99 ||Toys R Us ||USD139.99 ||Lego models far cheaper in US, example here shows Toys R Us in US vs Aus |
|AVG Internet Security (1 PC) ||AVG ||AUD69.99 ||AVG ||USD54.99 ||You can even get for 50% discount from US online seller or on eBay. You also can buy say 2011 version and use the free update to get the latest. |
|Adobe Acrobat X Pro Full Version ||Adobe ||AUD709 ||Adobe ||USD449 ||Program is a download from Adobe in both cases |
| || || || || || |
| || || || || || |
SEND US YOUR EXAMPLES USING THE FORM BELOW