New Guideline Helps Mobile Customers Calling 13/1300 Numbers
Sydney, 1 July 2014: A new telecommunications industry Guideline, published today, will help consumers ensure that they do not incur high charges when making calls from mobile phones to 13 and 1300 numbers.
The Communications Alliance Guideline details industry programs to:
- educate consumers about “13-Friendly” mobile plans that minimise the risk of unexpectedly high bills for calls to 13/1300 numbers;
- offer customers a transfer window to move easily to 13-Friendly plans;
- undertake further research into whether calls to these numbers create any consumer detriment.
The Guideline was developed by industry as part of an examination, in cooperation with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), into charging issues associated with mobile calls to 1800, 13 and 1300 numbers.
Unlike calls from fixed lines, calls to 13/1300 numbers from most mobile phones are timed. Concerns were raised that this can lead to high costs for long calls, including those where the caller is placed on hold for extended periods.
The past three years have, however, seen a proliferation of 13-Friendly mobile plans, which now form a large majority of plans on offer in Australia. 13-Friendly plans include:
- Post-paid Included Value Plans where the cost of mobile calls to 13/1300 numbers is counted within the monthly included-value allowance and where these calls are charged at no more than the cost of a standard mobile to local national call;
- Pre-paid mobile plans where the cost of mobile calls to 13/1300 numbers are charged at no more than the cost of a standard mobile to local national call; or
- Plans that include unlimited calls (including to 13/1300 numbers) for the duration of the plan for a set fee.
Customers on post-paid 13-Friendly plans pay nothing extra to make calls to 13/1300 numbers, provided they do not exceed their monthly included value allowance.
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said the rise to prominence of 13-Friendly plans was an excellent example of the mobile industry responding quickly and positively to the needs of consumers – particularly the increasing proportion of Australians who use mobile phones as their primary means of communication.
“It is pleasing also that many major Government agencies operating high-volume customer call centres using 13/1300 numbers now offer a ‘call-back’ facility, so that mobile customers can avoid spending long periods in call queues,” Mr Stanton said.
Communications Alliance will commence a quarterly research program to gauge the consumer experience when making mobile calls to 13/1300 numbers.
The Guideline is available here
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.
Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.
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