The revised Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code (Code) will come into effect as of the 1 August 2019. The original Code provided a range of consumer safeguards to complement the Australian Consumer Law on the provision of mobile, landline and internet connection services.
The Code outlines general consumer safeguards, and requires telecommunication providers to:
1. ensure their products are sold in a fair, transparent, responsible and accurate manner
2. address all enquiries and resolve all complaints made to them regarding third-party charges that appear on a customer's bill
3. have strong credit assessment and financial hardship procedures
4. provide consumers with relevant information regarding billing, products, pricing, terms and conditions and contracts
The revised Code adds further protection for consumers by:
- requiring providers to assess new customers and their credit and those moving from pre to post-paid service's capacity to pay for contracts greater than AUS 1000
- imposing stricter obligations on providers to ensure selling practices are fair and transparent
- establishing clearer rights for consumer access to records relating to their contracts
The revised Code shifts the burden onto the telecommunication providers to ensure that their customers fully understand the products they're buying, and the conditions they come with. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has warned that failure to comply with the Code will have significant consequences, including penalties of up to AUS 10 million if telecommunication providers fail to follow ACMA’s directions.
To read more about the revised Code requirements, see their website here.