ACIF releases new telco code

 

An industry group has issued a set of rules for consumer telecommunications contracts that is expected to stop service providers acting unfairly or confusing their customers.

An industry group has issued a set of rules for consumer telecommunications contracts that is expected to stop service providers acting unfairly or confusing their customers.

Telecommunications industry group Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) -- said its new Consumer Contracts Code was the first in the world developed to stop a specific industry imposing “unfair or unintelligible” contracts on consumers and small businesses.

The new code, expected to apply to 20 million landline, mobile and internet service contracts, had addressed complaints that many telecommunications contracts were too complicated, legalistic or technical in their wording, ACIF said.

It would also stop service providers varying terms and conditions after customers had signed up for a service, without giving them a chance to pull out, according to the organisation.

Anne Hurley, chief executive officer at the ACIF, said the code was a great step forward.

“It demonstrates how service providers and end-users can work together to deliver effective consumer protection,” Hurley said.

“The outcome shows that service providers and their customers have a mutual interest in ensuring contracts are fair and easily understood.”

The code must be registered by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA), which would enforce it. Service providers were expected to have to comply within six months of its ACA registration, ACIF said.

“Existing contracts for fixed line phone services must also comply within that timeframe. Where consumers have mobile phone or internet services without a fixed contract period, the provider must offer a new contract that complies,” according to the ACIF.

ACIF had scheduled industry briefings on the code -- and the related pricing, terms and conditions code -- in Sydney on 17 March and Melbourne on 24 March.


 
 
 
Top Stories
Microsoft confirms Australian Azure launch
Available from next week.
 
NBN Co names first 140 FTTN sites
National trial extended.
 
Cloud, big data propel bank CISOs into the boardroom
And this time, they are welcome.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
In which area is your IT shop hiring the most staff?




   |   View results
IT security and risk
  24%
 
Sourcing and strategy
  12%
 
IT infrastructure (servers, storage, networking)
  23%
 
End user computing (desktops, mobiles, apps)
  14%
 
Software development
  27%
TOTAL VOTES: 273

Vote
Would your InfoSec team be prepared to share threat data with the Australian Government?

   |   View results
Yes
  61%
 
No
  39%
TOTAL VOTES: 85

Vote