Choice Singles Out Bing Lee + Harvey Norman Over Low Price Claims

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A week after SmartHouse exposed the high cost of SanDisk memory at Harvey Norman stores consumer group Choice has warned consumers to be wary of claims made by retailers such as Harvey Norman,and Bing Lee especially when they use the words ‘lowest price’, ‘best price’ or ‘price match’ in their marketing.

Choice claimed that Officeworks, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee and Retravision Online have had their price promises closely scrutinised in recent months. 

SmartHouse revealed that SanDisk memory was $100 more expensive at Harvey Norman than it was at a Best Buy store in the US or on the Newegg.com.au web site. 

Choice said, “We found lowest- or best-price guarantees were mostly not a good indicator that the store was cheaper than its competition.”

Choice revealed the following information following their investigation. 

At Harvey Norman the Asus UX32LA Ultrabook was $1,296, at Retravision Online it was $1,127.

Bing Lee’s price for an Electrolux EWF 12832 washing machine was $829 at the GoodGuys it was $799.

Uniden’s XDECTR055 Cordless Phone package was $327 at Officeworks, $299 at Bing Lee.

In its report, Choice made special mention of Retravision Online’s disclaimer, which is broader than most.

Retravision Online guarantees to beat any advertised competitor price, the caveat being, “In some cases there are prices which Retravision Online cannot match. In these cases we will offer you the best possible price that we can.”

Other retailers state they won’t sell an item below its cost price.
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