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05 September 2006

Rip off Britain

There are so many examples I could give to illustrate Rip Off Britain. Ever since I first went to the US in the 1970s, many consumer goods are so much cheaper there.

Clearly over priced goods have an effect on the economy as people will buy less of them. I am interested in other examples of rip off Britain and the government's stance on this.

Here's my example from something I was looking to buy:

WN311B PCI card for NetGear router: Typical UK price £113 plus postage

Now compare it with the US: Typical US Price $96

The US price in dollars is cheaper than the UK price in pounds.

Now for a more direct comparison. Convert the US price to pounds £50.67. Add the rip off tax known as VAT (no sales tax applicable on US internet sales remember). This would make the US price with VAT £59.53. Lets call this £60.00

So the UK Rip Off margin is (113-60)/60 * 100 = 88%. 88% markup!!

Alleged cost of importing and postage $53

And of course where there is no importing or postage, the differential is even less excusable. In this BBC article on iTunes pricing, the UK price is 55% higher than the US price and 93% higher than the Canadian price.

Welcome to Rip Off Britain

Early History:
The UK Internet list, 1992, founded to keep UK Internet prices low.
Rip off prices in 1992
Rip off prices in 1993
More rip off prices in 1993
Rip off prices in 1995

Since Labour came to power, we have
Rip off insurance APR, 1999 and
High training prices 2006, because we're worth it?

Who is responsible for ensuring Britain stays competitive?

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