Financial News

  • 23 July 2014, 11:39

Gadgets 'Cost Hundreds Of Pounds More In UK'

Consumers in the UK are paying hundreds of pounds more for some gadgets than US shoppers, a watchdog says.

Which? compared the prices - excluding tax - of 13 products ranging from televisions to computer applications, and found Britons were getting a "raw deal".

The prices were calculated on June 18 and show that a Samsung television was 402 more expensive in the UK.

Meanwhile an Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch laptop cost 194 more here than in the US.

The Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 were both 57 more expensive in Britain.

The increased prices also apply to digital goods, Which? said, with a 12-month subscription to imaging software Adobe Creative Cloud costing 114 more here than in the US.

Which? said manufacturers should "play fair" and explain why technology products are more expensive in the UK in comparison with the US.

It is also calling on the Government to raise the threshold for import duty on goods bought online to the same level as that placed on goods brought back from abroad.

The current threshold for customs duty for technology products bought online from a country outside the EU is 135, but travellers can bring home goods worth up to 390 without having to pay duty.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "UK consumers are getting a raw deal by paying up to hundreds of pounds more for the same tech products on sale in the US.

"Manufacturers should play fair and explain why consumers are paying more for buying in the UK."

Which? said that import tariffs, as well as companies protecting themselves against exchange rate fluctuations, are among the reasons prices are higher.

Technology journalist Ella Williamson told Sky News: "It's not fair on consumers.

"I think a precedent has been set that you can charge more in the UK - and I think that something does need to be done about it."

However she added that rigorous EU testing standards partly contributed to the increased cost.

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