The ACMA

Rights and safeguards

Telecommunications consumer protection

Critical Information Summaries for telecommunications consumers

What is a Critical Information Summary?

As of 1 March 2013, a ‘Critical Information Summary’ is an important document that sets out a range of essential information about every product or service on offer from each service provider.

A Critical Information Summary will provide you with clear information about products, plans and services to enable you to easily compare what is being offered for both post paid and pre-paid services.

Each Critical Information Summary document must set out key information about the service being offered, including:

  • a clear description of the service
  • the minimum term for the contract
  • any exclusions or important conditions, limitations or restrictions

Key pricing information must also be included, such as:

  • the minimum and maximum monthly charge for the service
  • the maximum fee for early termination
  • the standard charges

Critical Information Summaries must also include general information, such as a warning about international and national roaming costs, customer service details for the provider and Telecommunications Industry Ombudsmen (TIO) contact details.

For a written transcript of this video click here.

Where can I find a Critical Information Summary? 

Critical Information Summaries can be found on a service provider’s website or you can collect one in-store free of charge.

When should I receive a Critical Information Summary? 

In the majority of circumstances a Critical Information Summary document must be provided to you before you enter into a contract for a new service or plan. The only time a summary document may not be required to be given to you before you enter into a contract is when you purchase a new product or service over the phone.

If you make a phone call to purchase a new service or product and you want to receive the phone without delay, you may choose to opt out of your right to receive all information contained in the Critical Information Summary prior to the sale.

If you provide consent to opt out of receiving the Critical Information Summary prior to sale, the sales representative must give you a general overview of the offer prior to the sale and then send you a copy of the relevant Critical Information Summary by post within 5 business days of the sale. 

A sale representative must not try to persuade or encourage you to opt out of receiving the Critical Information Summary prior to the sale. If you feel that this has occurred contact your service provider and discuss this with them. If you feel that your concern has not been addressed sufficiently, you can make a complaint to your service provider or to the TIO.

Last updated: 11 February 2014

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