18may2015 consumer ditch the ticks hero final default

Businesses ditch opt-out pricing

House of Travel and Nakedbus have stopped using opt-out pricing, removing pre-selected optional extras from their online booking processes. But, despite mounting pressure, budget airline Jetstar is still refusing to change its practices.

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Jetstar uses pre-ticked boxes for travel insurance, seat selection and check-in baggage. The extra charges can see travellers paying up to 60 percent more than the advertised price when booking flights. In a joint campaign with Australian consumer group Choice, we’ve called for the airline to ditch the ticks.

Since the campaign launch, more than 2000 people have emailed Jetstar CEO David Hall asking the airline to stop pre-ticking optional services that risk misleading customers into paying for extras they don’t want.

The Commerce Commission is currently investigating Jetstar. Commerce Commission chair Dr Mark Berry welcomed moves by House of Travel and Nakedbus to change their practices.

“Consumers can make up their own minds on what they want to buy, so it is great that these companies have engaged with us and each made the decision to improve the transparency of their pricing practices,” Dr Berry said.

“There is no valid reason to pre-select charges for consumers so we strongly encourage the remaining businesses employing this practice to put an end to it.”

Nakedbus had been pre-selecting baggage, text alerts and travel insurance. House of Travel customers had to opt out of buying travel insurance.

Air New Zealand stopped using opt-out pricing for travel insurance after the commission investigated earlier this year. The commission is also investigating Dash Tickets and TicketDirect over their opt-out pricing.