Choice has lost the plot and is misleading Australians

Choice has for as long as most of us can remember been the go to brand representing the interests of Australian consumers, turn to them for advice on which devices or home appliances to choose for reliability, quality and price.  Sadly, they’ve lost the plot of late, and are misrepresenting a whole stack of data to consumers.


Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.35.11 pmTheir release went on to include a table “comparing” the price and availability of a couple of popular TV shows.
They compared the $9 monthly Netflix subscription cost to a $45 monthly Foxtel cost, and a $30.90 iTunes cost.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.53.04 pm

(Comparison table from Choice – Check the fine print!)

Seriously, could you get three more completely different things to compare?

Netflix is a library of content, they also have a couple of simply amazing series (Orange is the New Black, House of Cards) which they commissioned and made available to subscribers.  If you just wanted one show like House of Cards, you could sign up for one month and just watch 13 episodes then cancel your subscription.  But seriously, who’s doing that?   Also, Netflix isn’t even available in Australia without complex workarounds on your PC or network.

Foxtel is a Pay TV service, hundreds of channels, content available on-demand, plus – importantly – a bunch of Aussie made shows.

iTunes is as simple as it gets.  Buy the content.  Own the content.

Let’s do what Choice should have done, and compare apples with apples (pardon the pun).

Doctor Who, Series 8 – US iTunes Store:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.14.56 pm

Doctor Who, Series 8 – Australian iTunes Store:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.14.05 pm

Ahh, that’s Australians paying 0% more than America.

Lets find another popular show. The Walking Dead.

In the US iTunes Store:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.08.06 pm

The Aussie iTunes store:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.15.32 pm

That’s about a 16% price hike for Aussies – or Australia Tax as we apparently like to call it.

A long long way from the 376% Choice were claiming.

Seriously, talk about working for a headline – it’s just plan deceptive.

Foxtel today released a statement calling the Choice claims disingenuous and hypocritical.

When Netflix launches in Australia they won’t have all the shows that US subscribers get, the world is divided into regions and the people who spend millions making programs sell them to a load of different TV companies to make their money.   Likewise, Netflix won’t likely start making Aussie programs like our TV networks and even Foxtel do.

Look, I’m all for price comparisons, but let’s make them genuine and accurate.  Today’s release by Choice was simply crazy.

Oh, and when it comes to prices, the above comparison prove that it’s not “Apple” that add the Australia Tax – it’s a the people or company who own the local rights.  If they want a few extra dollars – take it up with them.






  1. Caroline

    September 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Was the comparison pricing all based on Australian dollars or US dollars versus Australian dollars for each item?

    • Trevor Long

      September 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Nope, it was all about subscription costs per month.

      Check the updated article – has the price table from Choice in it

  2. Barry Duncan

    September 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    not trying to train on your parade Trevor, but you don’t own anything you buy in iTunes. You rent it in perpetuity, but you don’t own it. Check what happens to your iTunes purchases when you die. But other than that, good article, thanks.

    • Trevor Long

      September 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Barry, please.. Spare me.

      If you die the kids will likely throw out your LP’s and 45’s too you know.

      But in a Digital world the files are safe, and can be kept. If you’re smart enough to have good backups of data, you can keep and send that music library down through the family. Sure, the kids wont be able to login to iTunes and “re download” the songs, but the files if you have them – are yours.

  3. anonymouse

    September 9, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Is a portion of that “australia tax” GST?

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