If you haven’t heard by now, Australians will have to pay a hefty price if they want to get their hands on the new Oculus Rift. Including shipping, Australian gamers will have to pay at least AU$1,100 just to get their hands on the latest version of the VR headset.
And as expected, Australian gamers are absolutely pissed. One Reddit user asked Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, in a recent AMA why the device costs too much. That user questioned why they were being charged more than AU$180 for shipping when Oculus VR has a warehouse in Sydney, and if (and why) they are paying both Australian and US taxes:
Why the hell is shipping $130 USD (~$180 AUD)? Especially when it’s shipping from Sydney!?
It is cheaper to ship from U.S to Australia via a third party instead. So, why do you even have a warehouse in Australia?
This is insane. There are also issues with taxation. It’s shipping from within Aus so we pay GST of 10%.
Yet the base price adds what I assume is U.S taxes, it goes from $599 to $685 or whatever.
So we’re somehow paying two taxes, plus the most expensive shipping costs the world has ever seen.
If this issue is worked out, it would bring the cost down to around $900 and I would buy immediately.
When he gave a non-response, another upset Australian gamer asked Luckey who can provide a “definitive justification” on the shipping issue or send a complaint to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, the consumer watchdog.
In a simple sentence, Luckey responded, “Feel free, would be interesting to see what they say.”
Because of Luckey’s comment, some Australian gamers are issuing complaints to the ACCC so they can get some justification on why the shipping costs so much.
“I love the product and [all] but it [doesn’t] give them the right to screw Australians with another Aussie Tax,” one Redditor commented.
In a statement to TechGeek, the ACCC notes that the Australian Consumer Law does apply to companies that operate in Australia, including selling to Australians online. This would mean that the Oculus would fall under the Australian Consumer Law.
“Generally speaking, businesses are free to set their prices for their goods and services as they see fit,” the spokesperson told us. “It is unlikely that high prices would be seen as a breach of the Australian Consumer Law, unless the behaviour could be considered misleading or deceptive.”