C625:2020 Information on Accessibility Features for Telephone Equipment
The Code requires customer equipment importers and manufacturers to provide information to CSPs on features of their equipment that will meet people’s communications needs. The information provided must be consistent with the features matrices provided below or by using the Mobile & Wireless Forum Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) to provide information for their devices.
Equipment suppliers must also have a contact point for consumers to seek further information about the equipment supplier’s equipment features.
Accessibility Features Matrices_Home Phone
Accessibility Features Matrices_Mobile
C628:2019 Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code
Full code available here: C628:2019 Incorporating Variation no. 1/2022
The TCP Code is a code of conduct for the Telecommunications Industry in Australia. It provides community safeguards in the areas of sales, service and contracts, billing, credit and debt management and changing suppliers. It also sets out a framework of code compliance and monitoring. It applies to all Carriage Service Providers in Australia, and is enforceable by the ACMA.
The current version of the TCP Code, C628:2019 Incorporating Variation no. 1/2022, commenced on 17 June 2022. It updates and replaces C628:2019, with minor variations included to reflect updated ACCC guidance material referenced in Chapter 3, Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Consumers, and updated ASIC-ACCC guidance referenced in Chapter 6, Debt Collection.
TCP Code Information for Consumers
The Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code – information for consumers brochure provides an overview of the TCP Code and the protections it provides.
All telcos who provide Telecommunications Services to Consumers (as defined in the TCP Code) have a range of compliance obligations, including registration and attestation.
You must register with Communications Alliance’s TCP Code Register, and keep that information up to date (please provide updated details to email@example.com, marked TCP Code Registration details update).
You must also lodge an annual Compliance Attestation with Communications Compliance.
How do I register with Communications Alliance?
Details of this obligation are in 10.1.1 b) of C628:2019 Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code. To register:
- Download the form here.
- Make sure the form is signed by an authorised person, then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to +612 9954 6136.
The TCP Code requires that you register within one month after you first acquire a Customer who is a Consumer, and that you notify Communications Alliance within one month of changes to your registration information.
Please use the registration form for updates as well.
Registration with the TCP Code Register is independent of your obligation to lodge an annual TCP Code Compliance Attestation with the independent compliance monitoring body, Communications Compliance.
Lodgement of the Attestation is facilitated via the Communications Compliance CSP Portal.
ACMA Complaints-Handling Rules
Complaints Handling rules were previously included in the TCP Code, but as of 1 July 2018 are addressed by the ACMA’s Complaints Handling Standard and Record Keeping Rules. You can find more information on the ACMA’s website.
As of Code commencement (1 August 2019), all Complaints must be dealt with under the ACMA’s new Consumer Complaints Handling Standard.
Certain suppliers are also required to comply with the ACMA’s Complaints Record Keeping Rules.
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) Memberhip
Under Sections 128 and 132 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Services Standards) Act 1999, all Carriers and eligible Carriage Service Providers have a legal obligation to join and comply with the TIO scheme.
More information is available on the TIO’s website.
Related Communications Alliance documents
The Code references a range of other obligations and resources for providers, including some published by Communications Alliance. For ease of access, information on some of those are provided here:
Assisting Customers Experiencing Domestic and Family Violence
G660:2018 Assisting Customers Experiencing Domestic and Family Violence.
This Guideline provides education and guidance to providers on how to assist customers experiencing domestic and family violence.
Authorised Representatives and Advocates
IGN 017 Communications Alliance published this IGN in July 2019 to provide further information on the relevant clauses in the TCP Code (Clauses 3.5 and 3.6, TCP Code C628:2019), to streamline the appointment of Authorised Representatives and Advocates while continuing to protect consumers from fraud.
IGN 013 Sales Practices and Credit and Debt Management
This IGN was published in October 2017 to illustrate a range of good practices for CSPs to consider and apply as appropriate. It has not yet been updated to reflect the newest version of the Code, so while it may provide some helpful insight, we recommend Suppliers contact Communications Compliance for updated guidance.
Customer Information Obligations Framework
The Customer Information Provisions Policy Framework was developed in 2014. It provided context for the consideration of customer information requirements in place at that time; that is, to:
- enable an informed consideration of whether an issue is already dealt with via existing rules or not (i.e. ensure no duplication/overlap) and whether additional information is needed or not, and
- apply a filter or categorisation tool to determine the level of criticality of the new information, and therefore how it should be handled (pushed to customers or made available, is it required to be provided at a particular point in time, etc).
Other relevant documents
Suppliers can find links to all Communications Alliance Guidelines, Codes, and Industry Guidance Notes referenced in the Code on our Publications page.
The Code was revised by a Communications Alliance working committee, with representatives from industry, consumers, government, and regulators, and was registered by the ACMA on 1 July 2019.
The revisions include a range of increased consumer protections, including in selling practices, credit assessment, financial hardship, and assistance for vulnerable consumers, in addition to revisions for clarity and updating provisions to accurately reflect the marketplace.
Communications Alliance has provided the following documents to assist Suppliers in their compliance efforts with the new Code:
- Tracked Changes version: This version of the Code has tracked changes for all substantive revisions (noting that significant restructuring and editing for clarity are not tracked, for ease of reading).
- Summary of amendments: This provides a list of all substantive amendments, but must not be used as a substitute for reading the Code.
- Additionally, Communications Compliance has provided Chapter Guidance Notes on their CSP Portal.
C637:2019 Mobile Premium Services (MPS) Code - Incorporating Variation NO.1/2021
C637:2019 (pdf 467kb)
In 2019, a revision to the Code was made to include Premium Direct Billing Services within the scope of the Code. The 2019 revision of the Code introduces a number of additional consume safeguards, some of which include:
- a new definition of Premium Direct Billing Service to distinguish these services from Premium Messaging Services. These services were previously not included in the scope of the Code;
- a new obligation for Carriage Service Providers to introduce a Customer Verification Process which requires Customer Verification prior to the ability to subscribe to a Subscription Premium Service;
- the inclusion of Premium Direct Billing Services in all rules relating to advertising, providing service information, supplying a Mobile Premium Service, Complaint Handling and mechanisms to unsubscribe and opt-out of Mobile Premium Services. This will ensure that Premium Direct Billing Services are treated in the same way as Premium Messaging Services with respect to consumer safeguards and obligations on relevant suppliers;
- updates to the provision of information regarding Mobile Premium Services and the options available to Customers in relation to the barring of Mobile Premium Services;
- a new definition of Registration-only Digital Content Service. It should be noted that while charges for these services are able to be billed directly to a Customer’s mobile bill, these services require users to create an account directly with the service provider before they can access and be charged for the service. For this reason, these services are not included in the scope of the Code. This includes, for example, apps available from Google Play, the Apple Store and Netflix;
- a new provision for all Carriage Service Providers to set a default spend limit on Mobile Premium Services, for new residential and small business customers, of $20 per month for each Public Mobile Telecommunications Service (PMTS) associated with a Customer’s account;
- a reduction from $30 to $10 for spend notifications, per Premium Service used, from a Content Supplier to Customers;and
- addition of the term ‘Personal Information’ and relevant clause to align with the Privacy Act.
G516:2014 Participant Monitoring of Voice Communications
The Guideline provides assistance in the practical application of interception and privacy legislation to the listening to and recording of voice communications.
The Guideline was revised in 2014 to reflect amendments to the Privacy Act 1988, the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979, and update references to state and territory listening devices/surveillance legislation.
This Guideline was reconfirmed in 2020 and the next review is scheduled to occur in 2025.
G586:2006 Disability Matters: Access to Communication Technologies for People with Disabilities and Older AustraliansThis Guideline has been withdrawn. Guidance on developing Communications Alliance documents to address the accessibility needs for telecommunications products and services can be found at Guidelines on developing accessible documents.
G611:2002 Privacy Protection in ACIF Publications
This Guideline was developed to provide guidance to ACIF Reference Panels, Working Committees and Working Groups on privacy implications which may arise when developing ACIF documents, to assist in ensuring that ACIF documents meet privacy requirements.
G640:2015 Prepaid Calling Card Guideline
In 2015 the Guideline was revised to:
- remove clauses relating to advertising and point of sale material that replicate provisions under the Australian Consumer Law;
- remove the section on Customer Service Training as it replicates provisions in the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (C628:2015);
- remove the section on Complaint Handling Processes as it replicates provisions in the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (C628:2015); and
- include a new section on Customer Information on Emergency Call Services taken from Emergency Call Services Requirements Code (C536:2015) as it is specific to calling cards.
The Guideline was reconfirmed in 2017 and the next review is scheduled to occur in November 2022.
Industry Guidance Note (IGN 007) Issues to Consider for Insolvency Practitioners and Telecommunications Carriage Service Providers in relation to Carriage Service Providers in Financial Difficulty
Communications Alliance has published Industry Guidance Note IGN007 Issues to Consider for Insolvency Practitioners and Telecommunications Carriage Service Providers in relation to Carriage Service Providers in Financial Difficulty INSERT LINK.
The Guidance Note was prepared by the Service Continuity Working Group (SCWG) – a group comprised of Communications Alliance, telecommunications industry representatives, the professional body of company liquidators and bankruptcy trustees (the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association, ARITA), and others involved in the insolvency and restructuring profession. The group also has observer-members from the industry regulators, ACMA and ACCC, and from the Federal Department of Communications.
The Guidance Note is designed to be a useful resource for insolvency practitioners, for those working in the telecommunications sector; and for those impacted by an insolvency, to assist them to understand the processes involved in an insolvency scenario. It intends to facilitate better service continuity outcomes for consumers in circumstances where a CSP finds itself in financial difficulty, while also taking account of the legitimate interests of service providers, creditors and shareholders.