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Throne Speech promises may backfire for consumers, expert says

Summary

The administrative costs of promises made in the Throne Speech could get passed to consumers

The government promised to make cell phone providers more transparent and limit ticket re-sellers

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The British Columbia government’s plans to make cell phone providers more transparent and concert tickets easier to buy might not automatically be good for consumers.

In the Throne Speech on Tuesday, Premier Horgan’s government committed to¬†forcing cell companies to be transparent with just what consumers are paying for.

They also committed to making concert tickets a little easier to come by, by placing limitations on re-sellers and banning mass-purchase software.

One advocate says the administration costs of those promises could end up getting passed on to buyers.

David Clement, North American Affairs Manager with the Consumer Choice Centre, says saddling business operators with rules about breaking down costs often leads to added expenses for the wrong people.

“Consumers will ultimately end up paying for that,” he says. “And so, whatever measure that is undertaken from the government has to be done with the perspective increased costs on suppliers or on producers could ultimately translate into higher prices for consumers.”

He says the best way to bring prices down is usually to boost competition.

As for promises to crack down on the unfair resale of concert tickets in B.C., Clement says that could also be risky because some buyers may have legitimate reasons for needing to offload them.