27 July 2012

Refrigeration Company Admits to False Carbon Claims

Story first reported from ABC

A consumer watchdog says a South Australian refrigeration company has admitted to making false carbon tax price claims.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted a legally-enforceable undertaking from Equipserve Solutions that it will not make further false statements linking price rises to the carbon tax.

Equipserve sent an email to customers which attributed the entire increase of a refrigerant gas price to the carbon tax, when this was not the case.

The refrigeration contractor of walk in coolers has agreed to not make similar misleading claims in the future and to send out a corrective notice to its customers advising them of the false claims.

Equipserve has also agreed to train its staff on their legal obligations.

The ACCC's chairman Rod Sims says Equipserve avoided potential fines because of its full cooperation with the regulator once concerns about the statements were raised.

Mr Sims says consumers may be less likely to question price hikes of walk in freezers if they are blamed on the carbon tax.

So far the ACCC has dealt with misleading carbon tax pricing claims through undertakings by the offending companies to correct their statements.

However, penalties of up to $1.1 million per contravention are available in more serious cases or where companies do not cooperate with the regulator.

The provides information for companies about their compliance requirements.

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