Britons being ripped off by gadget firms

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ipod.jpgWow, here’s something we didn’t know already – us Brits are being ripped off by gadget makers who charge higher prices here than anywhere else.

According to the Evening Standard, we’re being charged hundreds of pounds more for computers, games consoles, and other gadgetry than the US.

“This has been going on for years in the electronics industry and there is no question that consumers are being ripped off here. The question is whether it is happening deliberately or not. I think it is something the Office of Fair Trading should be more active on.” said Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vincent Cable.

This is Money has published a chart comparing a few goods, and it makes for uncomfortable reading for anyone who enjoys keeping hold of their hard earned cash.

A PS3 will cost £425 in the UK, yet it’s £305 in the US. Windows Vista Premium is almost double in price, at £249 compared to £127, whilst an 80GB iPod costs £259 compared to £178 in the US. A Philips 42 in Ambilight plasma TV costs a whopping £2624 here, yet only £1786 in the US.

Of course, exchange rates have a small impact on this price comparison, given the strength of the pound to the dollar at present, but not this much. There’s little doubt we’re being ripped off.

Quite what we’re supposed to do about it is another matter. Though the exchange rate is good, it’s not always practical to buy from abroad. Maybe we should bring back the traditional art of haggling?

Related stories: Mac mini a rip-off | O2 promises end to mobile upgrade rip-off | Rip-off Britain

Andy Merrett

One thought on “Britons being ripped off by gadget firms

  • Did you see Bill Gates on the BBC? He dodged the question, he said “we try to keep them rougly the same” – bullcrap, its almost double here … even we don’t tax that much … there is no excuse, other than we are prepared to pay it.

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