Australians Overcharged For Identical Tech Products? Hmmm, Something Doesn’t Smell Right in the Land Down Under
This brings up a good question. Why would companies be charging more money from some countries than others, for the same exact product? That’s what Microsoft and Apple are currently being accused of.
Australians, on average, are forking out 34 percent more for software, 52 percent more for iTunes music, 88 percent more for Wii games and 41 percent more for hardware than US consumers, according to consumer lobby group Choice.
Companies seem to be having some difficulty answering whether this is due to costs of freight, taxes and levies, … or the fault of content providers who charge more for downloads due to increased copyright fees in Australia.
In their testimony the firms blamed content providers and costs including packaging, shipping and labour for steeper prices of their products despite the Australian dollar sitting on historic highs which should make imports cheaper.
Then there’s the question as to why an electronic download from Adobe would by 167% higher when that same software is being purchased by someone in Australia.
Addressing the House of Representatives committee on information technology pricing today, Adobe Australia and New Zealand managing director Paul Robson was questioned about why the company charged Australians 167 per cent more — $3175 versus $US1899 — for its Creative Suite 6 software.
The questions being posed to Apple, Microsoft and Adobe by consumer advocacy group Choice are certainly fair ones; the question is – when will we get a fair and supportable answer?
Earlier, consumer group Choice told news.com.au it has five big questions for the tech companies.
1. Why is it costing Australians 70 per cent more to rock out to AC/DC’s Back in Black on iTunes?
2. Why does it cost a graphic designer in Adelaide $3175 to buy Adobe CS6 Design and Web Premium when a creative in Los Angeles only has to pay $US1899?
3. Why does it cost a small business in Sydney $599 to buy Microsoft’s Office Professional 2013 when a business in San Francisco only has to pay $US399.99?
4. How many of their staff in Australia work on developing software?
5. Who sets the pricing on iTunes – Apple or the music and film industry?
It seems people will have to decide whether or not this bothers them enough to stop buying the products in question. And even then there would need to be enough of these people opting out of these popular products before technology giants be forced to reconsider this huge disparity of Australians overcharged. We are watching closely to see how and if these tech companies can come up with some suitable answers. So far the reasons seem to be all over the place.