STRONGER PROTECTIONS FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS CUSTOMERS TAKE EFFECT TODAY

Sydney, 1 August 2019 – Telecommunications consumers will enjoy stronger protections starting today, as the updated enforceable Industry Code comes into force.

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.

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.

Media information contact:
Sefiani
Kurt Graham kgraham@sefiani.com.au
0431 478 558