Sydney, 1 August 2019 – Telecommunications consumers will enjoy stronger protections starting today, as the updated enforceable Industry Code comes into force.
STRONGER PROTECTIONS FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS CUSTOMERS TAKE EFFECT TODAY
The revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code was written by Communications Alliance and its members in collaboration with consumer representatives, regulators and Government. It is a code of conduct for the telecommunications industry in Australia, providing community safeguards in the areas of sales, service and contracts, billing, credit and debt management, financial hardship, and changing suppliers.
The Code is mandatory for all telecommunications providers servicing residential and small business customers, and is enforced by the independent regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said “the upgraded protections touch on all customer interactions with their provider. This includes strengthened rules on selling practices, credit assessment, and financial hardship.
“These are priority areas for the ACMA and Communications Alliance has been working with them and the industry-created compliance body Communications Compliance to educate providers on their new obligations.”
When selling long-term, higher-cost services, Suppliers will now be required to perform an external credit check and obtain information as to how the Customer will be able to afford the contract - a change advocated for by Consumer representatives.
Suppliers will also have stricter rules on selling practices, requiring them to ensure that Sales Representatives promote and sell in a fair, transparent, responsible, and accurate manner, and that they clearly explain key terms and costs to Customers.
In addition to being enforced by the ACMA, compliance with the Code is monitored by the independent industry-created body, Communications Compliance (CommCom). All service providers covered by the TCP Code are obliged to attest to their compliance with the Code with CommCom.
The TCP Code 2019 was registered by the industry regulator, the ACMA on 1 July.
The Code, a list of all amendments, and other information for providers can be found on Communications Alliance’s website, and suppliers can find guidance notes on each of the Chapters and other tools to support their compliance work on the Communications Compliance CSP portal.
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.
The most influential association in Australian communications, co-operatively initiating programs that promote sustainable industry development, innovation and growth, while generating positive outcomes for customers and society. To create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour. For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.
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