Comparator website guidance released

Australia’s competition regulator has released guidelines intended to assist consumers and industry on the use of comparator websites.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) asserts that comparator websites can boost competition and help policy seekers in reaching informed decisions when purchasing complex products.

However, the ACCC is concerned by the misleading conduct that proliferates within the digital comparator space by way of generic advice and indicators.

Prompted by consumer and business complaints regarding misleading information, the ACCC undertook a review of comparator websites and found that many websites misguided consumers regarding achievable savings and the extent of the comparison service provided.

The ACCC consumer guidelines offer tips to help policy seekers achieve the best outcomes when employing comparator websites and also highlights the specific standards that should be met by each comparator.

There are also guidelines offered to comparator website operators and suppliers, which outline how industry bodies can comply with competition and consumer protections laws.

These include offering website visitors honest comparisons, ensuring transparency regarding commercial relationships and disclosing which products are being compared clearly.