The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued formal warnings to two companies who failed to provide key information to consumers about their calling card products.
The ACMA found Skink Marketing Pty Ltd, the provider selling the 1300 Woolies calling card, and Lime Telecom Pty Ltd both failed to make Critical Information Summaries available as required by the Telecommunications Consumer Protections code (TCP code).
‘These formal warnings are a reminder that the TCP code applies to all telcos, which includes calling card providers,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
‘CIS are important for all telco products, including calling cards, as they allow consumers to understand how charges are calculated, inclusions and exclusions, expiry dates and any additional fees.’
The ACMA program on this aspect of compliance builds on the useful research undertaken by the Australian Communications Consumers Action Network (ACCAN). Several other phonecard providers quickly developed the required summaries and placed them on their web sites when non-compliance was identified.
The requirement for telcos to offer CIS to their customers has been in force since 1 March 2013. An example is available here.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, on (02) 9334 77719, 0434 652 063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media release 63/2013 - 29 August
Since the new TCP code was registered in September 2012, the ACMA has been checking the compliance of telco providers with key new consumer protections – including new advertising rules, the requirement for Critical Information Statements, new complaint-handling obligations and the requirement for providers to submit their own compliance assessments to the industry body, Communications Compliance.
To date, the ACMA has
- made more than 300 inquiries with providers about TCP compliance issues
- issued 8 formal warnings and 3 directions to comply.
The ACMA’s focus over the next quarter will shift to checking compliance with the new requirement that telco providers notify customers on included value plans when they have used 50%, 85% and 100% of their included allowance.