ACCC receives carbon tax complaints

AUSTRALIA'S consumer watchdog is keeping a close eye on energy companies after receiving scores of complaints from worried customers nervous about the Federal Carbon Tax.

In the 12 days since the carbon pricing system was put in place, more than 630 complaints have been made to the national consumer watchdog.

More than 250 people and businesses told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission they had concerns about how the carbon price would affect their electricity and gas bills and questioned if the increases were legitimate.

In the same period, the ACCC received 8350 general complaints, so proportionally the amount of complaints was considered quite low.

Chairman Rod Sims said each claim would be reviewed to ensure businesses were not deceiving customers.

However, the ACCC said it was yet to spot widespread issues but Mr Sims warned businesses must not use the new tax as a means of gouging customers.

"Claims must be truthful and have a reasonable basis," he said.

"A business that makes a good faith, reasonable approach to calculating the carbon price for their business has nothing to fear from the ACCC."

Mr Sims said customers should shop around and ask questions if they were suspicious of a price rise.

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