NEW CONSUMER SAFEGUARDS STRENGTHEN THE MOBILE PREMIUM SERVICES (MPS) CODE

Sydney, 9 December 2019: New default spending limits to guard against bill shock are among a raft of stronger protections in a revamped Mobile Premium Services Code (MPS) for the telecommunications sector, just registered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The revised code includes new consumer protections in the area of mobile premium services and premium direct billing, to help consumers manage their spend on purchases from third parties that are billed through their telecoms provider.

The new Code was generated by a Communications Alliance working committee including industry, consumer and regulator representatives.

Key safeguards added to the MPS Code include:

  • a new default monthly spend limit of $20 for all new residential and small business customers to assist consumers with their spend management and to avoid the possibility of ‘bill shock’, while still allowing for a limited number of one-off purchases and charitable giving via SMS. Existing and new customers continue to have the ability to set their own spend limits for such purchases;
  • the inclusion of premium direct billing services in all rules relating to advertising, information provision and supply of the service, complaint handling and mechanisms to unsubscribe and opt-out of such services;
  • a new obligation for telecoms providers to introduce a Customer Verification Process which requires Customer Verification prior to the ability to subscribe to a Subscription Premium Service
  • an obligation for telecoms providers that include third party charges on a customer’s bill to address all enquiries and resolve all complaints they receive relating to those charges, directly with their customer; and
  • strengthened obligations to ensure consumers are informed on how to bar premium services.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said the stronger Code will minimise any risk that consumers will unknowingly run up sizeable bills on third party services, while preserving the convenience that third-party purchasing provides for the many thousands of Australians who choose to use it.

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