ACCC Chair Rod Sims says the watchdog has received reports of retailers charging between $20 and $30 per test with wholesale prices between $3.95 and $11.45.
Mr Sims said at the “extreme end”, there were reports of two tests costing up to $500 through online marketplaces, and $70 per test through convenience stores, service stations and independent supermarkets.
Stream the latest business news with Flash. New to Flash? Try 14 days free now
Metro Petroleum Randwick selling single RATs for $30 each. Picture: Getty Images / Supplied
“The wholesale prices we are hearing about are anywhere between $3.95, and sometimes those prices go up to $11.45,” he told reporters on Monday.
“Pricing between $20 and $30 is extremely concerning, and as I say, above $30 – just beyond outrageous.”
The consumer watchdog has contacted a range of retailers seeking information about their costs, current pricing and stock availability.
There have been numerous reports of single tests being sold at $30 or above from a number of King of the Pack and Metro Petroleum stores (70 and 40 complaints respectively).
ACCC Chair Rod Sims says the watchdog won’t hesitate to “take action”. Picture: Getty Images / News Corp
“There are several businesses that have repeatedly come to our notice thanks to the information provided by the public. We are asking those businesses to urgently explain the prices they are charging,” Mr Sims said.
“Some individual stores within chains are pricing at very high levels and we have a large number of reports of them doing so, and so we are very much looking forward to what their explanations are.
“Often some of these high prices are from stores you would not expect, petrol retailers, tobacconists, some convenience stores, so we are very much looking at those as well as pharmacies.”
Mr Sims warns penalties under the Australian Consumer Law can be high, especially for larger stores and supply chains.
“We won’t hesitate to take action and the penalties will be very large,” he said.
“Where it is individual stores we still may take action but they are of such a size that the penalties will be very painful for them, but they will be of a lower level.”
Website ‘Find a RAT’ helping Australians find COVID tests
Earlier this month, the government introduced measures under the Biosecurity Act 2015 to prohibit a mark-up of more than 20 per cent on rapid antigen tests.
“These measures will prevent people who have purchased RAT’s at retail settings to on-sell them at extortionate prices, which is assessed at more than 120 per cent more than the price for which they were purchased,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
“People found to be engaged in price gouging or unlawfully exporting RAT kits will be required to surrender those kits to law enforcement agencies or Customs officials for destruction or redistribution to the National Medical Stockpile as appropriate.”
Penalties for failing to comply with the requirements include up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $66,600, or both.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *