The ACMA has released a report entitled, 'Telco customers - credit management and financial hardship', which investigates the current incidence and nature of unexpectedly high bills, difficulties in paying bills and the use of spend management tools and payment arrangements among telecommunications bill-payers. The report particularly supports an early focus by the ACMA on compliance with the financial hardship provisions of the Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) Code, which came into effect on 1 September 2012.

Under the TCP Code, telcos must have a financial hardship policy that is easy for consumers to find and access. The TCP Code also requires telcos to include information about their financial hardship policies on reminder bills sent to consumers and to have clear ways for consumers to seek relief under those policies.

For more information, please see the ACMA Media Release. To view a copy of the report, please click here. To view a copy of the revised TCP Code, please click here.