Consumer Groups Warn Jetstar about Automatic Opt-Ins

13th Jul 2015

It happens all too often to be a mere mistake. The customer thinks he has found a good price for his flight, only to later realize he has paid up to 67% more than the price advertised.

CHOICE Launches Anti Drip Prices Campaign

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE warns of this practice, called "drip prices", and has launched a campaign with its Australian counterparts to draw Jetstar's attention to booking sites that use drip pricing to make customers pay more than advertised.

Director of Campaigns and Communications at CHOICE Matt Levey said:

"Websites shouldn't be designed to trick consumers into paying for extras that they don't want or need."

Levey said this includes things like:

"Pricey travel insurance to $5 seat selection fees and sky-high baggage tariffs."

CHOICE is especially targeting Jetstar and is asking customers to send a message to its Chief Executive Officer David Hall telling him what they think of such practice.

Mr. Levey said:

"We think Jetstar's CEO David Hall needs to hear from consumers. No matter what side of the Tasman you're on, this practice is shonky. Jetstar's auto options will leave you traveling $36 lighter on a typical flight from Sydney to Melbourne - hardly a great start to your holiday. Making matters worse the insurance Jetstar auto selects is far from the best value in the market."

Sue Chetwin, Consumer NZ chief exec also called the Australian carriers, Jetstar and Tiger in particular to "ditch the tick". She said:

"Jetstar's practice of pre-ticking boxes for additional extras risked misleading customers on both sides of the Tasman into paying for services they didn't want."

When asked about this, Jetstar Communication Manager, Michael Scott said its practices "are in line with other airlines around Australia and the world".

Mr. Scott also said:

"Pre-selected items on are clearly identified and easy to de-select. If customers don't want to purchase a pre-selected product, they just tick a button and continue with their booking."