Motorists Shortchanged By Shopper Docket Discounts


New research shows motorists were being short-changed during the latest 'double discount' promotion offered on fuel by the large supermarket chains over summer.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) examined fuel prices before and during the Woolworths and Coles 8 cent per litre 'double discount' offer, which started in late October 2011. 

"The average margin on fuel actually increased by two cents per litre during the promotion period and in many cases it was even higher," AAA Executive Director Andrew McKellar said.

"The bottom line is that motorists who believed they were being offered a special discount have been dudded and those without a shopper docket have been paying more than they should for petrol," he said.

After taking into consideration the key factors which determine petrol prices in Australia, the AAA research found that in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide the fuel price cycle shifted significantly when the discount offer was increased to 8 cents per litre over summer.

"The reality is that people were not getting an 8 cent a litre saving at all and on some days there was actually no benefit at all for those who had a discount voucher," he said.

"It is concerning that the two supermarkets are now absolutely using their market dominance to influence the fuel price and it's time for the ACCC to take action,"

"The two supermarkets control 45 per cent of the fuel market, meaning they have a strong influence over the retail price of petrol and unfortunately motorists are being shortchanged," he said.


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