Comms Alliance submits Mobile Premium Services Code

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Comms Alliance submits Mobile Premium Services Code

Under increasing pressure from the ACCC and ACMA, industry self-regulator Communications Alliance has finally released a code of conduct around the provision of Mobile Premium Services.

The Mobile Premium Services industry offers ring tones, games, horoscopes and other voice and data services at premium costs.

The industry has been plagued by dodgy dealers - much to the ire of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the ACCC.

Many of these content providers have been accused of duping subscribers into signing up to a recurring subscription service that is difficult to unsubscribe from.

Telecommunications carriers have allegedly done little to stamp out bad practices, owing to the lucrative cut of revenue they receive from each message.

An irate ACCC chairman Graeme Samuels told the annual Australian Telecommunications User Group conference late last week that he was growing increasingly impatient with Communications Alliance, which has taken over 12 months to deliver a code for ACMA registration.

"The ACCC is now saying  to the Communications Alliance: get this code finalised, it's been too long coming," Samuels said.

"In the event the industry does not act, more active intervention [from ACCC] will almost certainly eventuate."

The code of conduct, to be delivered to regulator the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) tomorrow, was compiled by a representative group that includes employees of Telstra, Optus, Sybase and Mobile Active, plus representatives from Legal Aid Queensland and the Consumer Telecommunications Network.

"I am delighted to announce the finalisation of the Mobile Premium Services Industry Code," said Communications Alliance CEO Anne Hurley. 

"This Code goes above and beyond the original terms of reference and is a great example of the industry's willingness to implement practical and enforceable solutions to address concerns and deliver additional safeguards to consumers."

Hurley told iTnews that the industry has been abiding by most measures included in the code since late last year, but once registered with ACMA it will become "mandatory and enforceable."

Hurley said the industry is "by and large responsible" but for "rogue content providers masquerading as offering legitimate services."

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