Foxtel and the pricey Presto ploy

Foxtel is under fire for price-gouging consumers with its online entertainment service, Presto.

Foxtel and the pricey Presto ploy

Foxtel’s online entertainment service Presto, offers a monthly pass to stream Foxtel Movies, and rivals the popular (and cheaper) Netflix and Quickflix. Foxtel has been under fire for its recent decision to dramatically reduce the per-month cost of its fledging entertainment service, just six months after it was launched.

Usually, Australians, who according to consumer organisation CHOICE, pay up to 400 per cent more for TV shows, than their overseas counterparts, welcome any price-drop with open arms. However, Presto’s dramatic price-drop from $19.99 to just $9.99 per month begs the question: just how much were Presto customers being price-gouged by in the first place?

To coax customers into signing-up, Foxtel offered Presto for $4.99 for the first month. But Presto doesn’t have high-definition content or an extensive back catalogue, and until it added Chromecast connectivity, it didn’t allow customers the ability to stream TV shows onto their televisions.

Presto competitor, Quickflix, dropped its price from $14.99 to $9.99 one month before Presto launched in March. Rather than lowering its price to directly match competitors, Foxtel’s now lower price just highlights how hard it tried to gouge every cent it could from customers.

Being charged premium prices for technology, entertainment and software is something Australians know a lot about.  As previously mentioned, data from CHOICE shows Australians are “paying staggeringly high premiums for repackaged content even when it is delivered online through streaming or on-demand services”.

It’s no wonder then, that so many of us choose to access our favourite TV shows and films from illegal torrent websites, instead of paying exorbitant prices to money-grubbing corporations such as Foxtel. To highlight the extent of illegal downloads, according to internet tracking site TorrentFreak, the season four finale of Game of Thrones was downloaded roughly 1.5 million times by Australians, in the 12 hours after the it went to air.

Red-faced, Foxtel has made a call-out to current customers of Presto, offering them one month for free as retribution. But the cat is now out of the bag, and the more competition we see for Foxtel, the better off Australians will be when it comes to accessing online content cheaply and fairly.

Read more at SMH.com.au

What do you think of Foxtel’s apparent price gouging? Do you access your entertainment online, and if so, what methods do you use?





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    btony
    30th Sep 2014
    10:28am
    All companies, whoever they are do it, till they get caught,like Coles and the bread
    Polly Esther
    30th Sep 2014
    2:03pm
    The only reason Coles acted the way they did with their bread was, because there was dough in it. boom boom !!
    retroy
    30th Sep 2014
    12:00pm
    I used to have foxtel but moved house and did not bother to continue.
    Howeve,r I can get it on my Ipad, free, as part my son's subscription, and they are putting on programs that I watched almost 3 years ago.
    It is a big con, and when you compare it with cable TV in the UK it is so much dearer for an inferior product. They do have a better sports selection though, and they know it gets customers in.
    The Lion
    30th Sep 2014
    2:45pm
    You have done that which many of us ought to do, and quickly.
    The very Company Name, Fox.tel has been a thorn in my insides for years. The prices are too much for unfinanced, without Super Funds ! Foxtel need to heed our words here as action is the next course. Drop out and they will change.
    The more folk who do so will bring to bear a financial pressure which they will respect!
    roccy
    30th Sep 2014
    1:47pm
    In Australia it seems nothing is fairly priced, it is priced on need to have and what people are willing to pay, and while people are paying the price remains high, when sales start to drop, to coin a phrase " prices down and staying down" we are being screwed to the wall on prices in the lucky country, lucky for who?!!!!!
    The Lion
    30th Sep 2014
    2:42pm
    Well, we need to do more to show our combined strength.
    downunder
    30th Sep 2014
    2:19pm
    Facts NOT Fox, that is all I can say
    The Lion
    30th Sep 2014
    2:41pm
    And well said, now action is needful downunder My very best regards
    The Lion
    30th Sep 2014
    2:40pm
    The very Company Name, Fox.tel has been a thorn in my insides for years. The prices are too much for unfinanced, without Super Funds ! Foxtel need to heed our words here as action is the next course. Drop out and they will change.
    The more folk who do so will bring to bear a financial preasure which they will respect!
    Ozetwo
    30th Sep 2014
    8:56pm
    the Murdoch press was totally behind our current government in the lead up to the election. The NBN as originally proposed would have meant the end of Foxtels monopoly and high prices.The people have voted now shut up and wear it.
    Colours
    30th Sep 2014
    3:02pm
    I would not give Rupert Murdoch one red cent, even if he did happen to show interesting shows at reasonable prices (which seems unlikely).
    Cricketmad
    30th Sep 2014
    4:25pm
    That's for sure Colours I wouldn't either .
    KSS
    30th Sep 2014
    4:53pm
    Geo pricing has no place in today's world particularly when applied to digital material. It costs no more to 'send' product to Australia than it does from LA to new York for example.

    For physical products, gone are the days of long shipment times and 'lost sales' whilst goods were in transit. I accept there are costs involved in transport but not at anywhere near the levels we are being charged. An example, you may have seen the Nutribullet advertised on TV a small liquidiser. It sells exclusively from TV in Australia for a shade under $300. In the USA the exact same thing (with USA wiring) sells for less than $100 and at places like Target and Home Depot and in 2 for 1 deals. There is no justification for this price difference. The same thing happens with medications. Even NZ pay less than Australia for the same drugs!

    The problem is, as long as Australian's keep paying companies will keep charging whatever they can get.
    Adrianus
    30th Sep 2014
    6:22pm
    KSS we get charged extra for everything. Australia is not a sophisticated market and not aware of global values. Importers do their best to get sole agency agreements in order to control the price of goods.
    Londoner
    5th Oct 2014
    8:54pm
    As a matter of interest, that greatly over advertised Nutribullet can be purchased in the UK for no more that around AUD190 delivered, sometimes cheaper!!!
    Adrianus
    30th Sep 2014
    6:15pm
    Foxtel are losing customers en masse! And so they should!! They have just hired a huge team of customer retention Consultants.
    They have made the same mistake that many businesses make. They disrespect their existing customers by offering only new customers a good deal.
    How would you feel if a salesman knocked on your door offering a product at $25 when you are an existing customer paying $50?
    djennin
    30th Sep 2014
    9:01pm
    We must blame our government who talk about competition but then let Foxtel buy out their only competition. Remember Austar?
    roccy
    1st Oct 2014
    10:26am
    The actual privatization of government departments is removing competition case in point, water, electricity, now these international companies are price gouging and taking the profits offshore, the lucky country is becoming a goldmine for these companies, and our standard of living which was one of the best in the world, is now becoming a third world standard, we are being sold off to the lowest bidder by state and federal governments
    Londoner
    5th Oct 2014
    9:20pm
    It's good to read that more and more Australians are getting to realize that they're being sold products, usually at inflated prices, and some of these could be classed as sub-standard.
    Now all they have to do is something about it, like not buying in the first place. There's nothing more that's likely to change a suppliers pricing policy then for him/her to find that nobody is buying anything. My philosophy is that they need my money more than I need their product so something has to improve if they want me to buy.
    Proper, and enforceable, government regulation for what could be described as necessary products would at least be a start.
    Adrianus
    5th Oct 2014
    10:01pm
    Londoner, we have ourselves to blame. Our successive governments have literally given our taxes to the multinationals to encourage them to screw us.
    We have given $b's to car companies to sell us overpriced rubbish and at the same time penalised us for buying imports to the tune of doubling the price.
    We have finally said no more, we cannot afford it. In our stupidity we floated our dollar but continued to run protection for local businesses which were non Australian.
    Londoner
    6th Oct 2014
    4:26pm
    Thank you Frank for being so candid.
    According to the Australian government website (http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3235.0#PARALINK2) 14% of the population is made up of people aged 65+. This is a huge voting block that should exercise its power to help mould the future of Australia and hopefully eradicate the unfairness' being suffered by the current generation, which as I'm sure you're aware of are many. The Australian voting system won't make any change easy but unless you start you'll never achieve the goal.
    It has been said to me on many an occasion that the Australian high prices are caused by the lack of population numbers (as compared to the UK for instance), the vast size of the continent and wages. These are all rubbish of course. The population number would make little or no difference to the price, it's cheaper to ship goods from the UK then it is internally and wages are driven by the buying price of the goods. What makes goods expensive in Australia is the greed of the companies selling them, hence my previous comment.
    djennin
    6th Oct 2014
    8:08pm
    Back to Foxtel

    I had a chat with them this morning, calmly and they advised me that they had heard a lot of older people complaining about channel selections and costs and that letters are going out to existing customers this month re new cheaper packages available early next month.

    Are all pensioners aware of the Foxtel pensioners package at http://www.foxtelseniorscard.com.au/default.htm which I am told will be different and cheaper next month. They don't advertise this package.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles