The new Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code, introduced on 1 September 2012, has a range of safeguards for consumers:
Better customer service
If you need to contact your service provider, hopefully it will be a positive experience. If not, you have a right to complain and there are comprehensive rules about how a service provider must handle your complaint. In some circumstances, you might feel more comfortable having a friend, relative or other trusted representative talk with the provider on your behalf
You might experience difficulties with the reliability of your telecommunications service. If you find that your telecommunications service doesn’t work properly, you should first contact your service provider to report a fault. If you are not happy with how the fault has been dealt with, you can complain to your service provider.
Access to information
Your provider must make a range of information available on its website, including the contract relevant to your service.
You may be gathering information about other services from a wide range of sources, including advertising on websites, in newspapers, magazines and brochures. Advertising must be clear, accurate, and not misleading. There are a number of ways you can compare service providers. If you are thinking of changing service providers, you may need to check with your provider if you are in a contract, which means you might need to pay early termination fees if you switch.
Avoiding bill shock
Depending on the type of telecommunications service you use, service providers must give you access to a range of billing information.
Your service provider may have to give you access to spend management tools, such as an SMS or email notification when you reach a certain percentage of your monthly spend or data allowance. Service providers also offer a range of other spend management tools, and your provider should inform you about the tools they have available, especially when you enter into a new contract.
If you have trouble paying your bills, your service provider must meet certain rules.
If you decide to use your telecommunications service overseas, you need to know all about international roaming.