ACA calls for comment on messaging guidelines

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The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) today called industry and consumer groups to comment on draft consumer protection arrangements for users of premium rate messaging services, including short message services (SMS) and multimedia message services (MMS).

The guidelines are associated with the proposed introduction of a new shorter '19x' range of numbers for consumers to access to premium rate services such as sports results, share prices, SMS chat and adult services.

The guidelines outline how premium rate services will be classified, provide a guide for the promotion of services by providers, detail how consumers are to be made aware of the costs and provide information on complaint handling.

Allan Horsley, acting deputy chairman at the ACA said: "The ACA is working with industry to ensure that sound consumer protection arrangements are in place for premium rate messaging services before the new 19x numbers are released."

The guidelines will operate for up to six months, after which time consumer protection arrangements for premium rate services will be reviewed.

The deadline for written comments on the Interim Consumer Protection Principles and Procedures for Premium Rate Messaging Services is Friday, 27 February 2004.

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