ACA assesses phone bill issues

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The Australian Communications Authority is proposing new telco industry practices, designed to help people receiving unexpectedly high phone bills.

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) is proposing new telco industry practices, designed to help people receiving unexpectedly high phone bills.

Dr Bob Horton, acting chairman at the ACA, said that the telco regulator had proposed five possible ways new credit management practices could be introduced by the industry.

These included options such as enhancing existing industry codes and establishing a voluntary national standard.

The ACA has also proposed what it describes as a hybrid solution, which includes detailed specification of a default credit management framework through regulation, with an option for carriage service providers to prepare individual implementation plans that would then be approved by the regulator.

A report, Preventing unexpectedly high bills: Credit management in telecommunications was prepared at the request of Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, IT and the Arts, who has called for public comment on it.

In its report, the ACA has called for the telco industry to adopt effective credit management practices as soon as possible.

According to a statement from the regulator, last year there was an increase in complaints about unexpectedly high bills for internet services, mobile services and fixed services to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and other bodies.

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