Fixing problems with your service | ACMA

Fixing problems with your service

You have the right to receive a product or service that is free from defect, is in proper working order and is of acceptable quality. It must be fit for purpose and if you have asked for certain features then the service provider must accurately describe whether these features are included or not. Your provider must also guarantee that spare parts and repair facilities are available for a reasonable time.

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 replaced the Trade Practices Act 1974 from 1 January 2011 and is also referred to as the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The ACL provides consumers with a number of guarantees regarding purchased goods; this includes telecommunications products such as mobile handsets and modems. For further information about the ACL and information about how to complain you can contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

When you purchase a telecommunications service after 1 March 2013, you must receive a Critical Information Summary (CIS). The CIS must contain information about warranties that apply to the telecommunications goods you have purchased, including references to your entitlements under the ACL.

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 make a complaint to your service provider.

If you remain dissatisfied after making a complaint to your service provider, you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

Mobile devices including tablets and smartphones

If your device is mobile, be aware that mobile coverage is not available everywhere. You need to consider where you are most likely to use your device, and check the network coverage available from the service providers you have in mind. Service providers that sell you a mobile device when you have explained where you will be using it must not sell you a product that can’t be used in the area(s) that you have outlined to them.

It is also worth checking before you purchase a mobile device as to whether it is ‘locked’ or ‘unlocked’. Many service providers and retailers sell ‘locked’ phones that require you to take up a pre-paid service or post-paid plan with a particular service provider to use the phone. Consumers often find that the price advantages of a ‘locked’ handset outweigh this inconvenience. An unlocked handset gives you the flexibility to switch service providers while keeping your handset. Sometimes the network on which your service provider operates may be affected by performance issues. Your service provider must tell you at the point of sale as well as once you are a customer if there will be significant disruptions to your service.

If you find that your mobile device 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 make a complaint to your service provider.

If you remain dissatisfied after making a complaint to your service provider, you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

Fixed broadband

When you initially choose an internet service provider (ISP) you should ask for an indication of the level of performance you will receive. Specifically you should ask about what data speed you can expect for downloads and uploads as well as what is the risk of your connection to your ISP being disconnected or ‘dropping out’.

Any claims that ISPs make when they advertise their products about speed must be able to be substantiated.

If you find that your fixed broadband 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 make a complaint to your service provider.

If you remain dissatisfied after making a complaint to your service provider, you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

Landline

There are minimum requirements that apply to landline or fixed line phones. The industry code ‘ACIF C519:2004 End-to End Network Performance for the Standard Telephone Service‘ specifies minimum levels of performance for the end-to-end carriage of the Standard Telephone Service over public fixed telecommunications networks and public digital mobile telecommunications networks.

The Customer Service Guarantee requires service providers to meet maximum time frames for connection of a fixed line service, repair of a fault or service difficulty and attending appointments with customers. Compensation is payable for not meeting time frames.

If you have been diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition and depend on a reliable, fixed line home telephone service, you may be eligible for priority assistance. If as a priority assistance customer you make a complaint, your service provider needs to treat it as an urgent complaint, which means it must, in most circumstances, be resolved within two business days.

If you find that your fixed telephone 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 make a complaint to your service provider.

If you remain dissatisfied after making a complaint to your service provider, you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).



Last updated: 20 February 2017