Sometimes, following a credit assessment, a service provider may offer you a telecommunications product or service only under certain conditions. These may include you providing a guarantor, a security deposit or agreeing to a restriction on the use of the telecommunications product or service.
The service provider must give reasons for its decision and how a restriction can be removed.
What is a credit assessment?
A credit assessment is the process whereby a service provider determines your consumer credit rating to assess your ability to pay for the telecommunications service.
A service provider must undertake a credit assessment before selling a post-paid telecommunications service plan to you.
Each service provider’s process may differ, but it usually includes a check on your credit rating with credit reporting agencies.
What happens when a guarantor is required?
The service provider may require a guarantor to provide a guarantee on your obligations before providing the telecommunications service to you. The service provider must advise the guarantor about the nature and effect of the guarantee.
The service provider must also give the guarantor a minimum of 10 working days cooling-off period in which the guarantor may terminate the service agreement.
What happens when a security deposit is required?
A security deposit is a sum of money paid in advance to protect a service provider against future non-payment.
Within 10 working days of receiving the deposit, the service provider must give you information about the terms of the security deposit such as how it may earn interest, be forfeited or be repaid.
The request for a security deposit must be based on a credit assessment when you apply for a post-paid telecommunications service.
The service provider must give you five working days notice before accessing the security deposit and provide you with an opportunity to pay the outstanding amount during the notice period.
The service provider must repay the security deposit (or the balance remaining) and accrued interest to you within 10 working days of you either:
What happens when my service provider decides to restrict my telecommunications service following the credit assessment?
The service provider must:
explain the reasons for the restriction
advise which aspects of the telecommunications services you will have access to
if applicable, explain how you may have the restriction removed.
The service provider may give this information to you verbally or, if you request, in writing.
Can my service provider require financial security mid-way through my contract?
Your contract may allow the service provider to require you to provide a security deposit or bank guarantee during the term of your contract. A service provider may also restrict, suspend or disconnect the telecommunications service with five working days notice during the contract.
How do I enquire or complain about the credit assessment process?
You should contact the service provider with any questions about the credit assessment process.
If you have concerns about inaccurate information on your credit rating, you may wish to contact the credit reporting agency that provided it to the service provider.
If you are still dissatisfied after dealing with your service provider about these matters, you can contact the contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO). The TIO is an office of last resort—to be involved once all other avenues for dispute resolution have been explored. The TIO provides independent, just, informal and speedy resolution of telephone complaints and disputes.
Contact the TIO or see the TIO website for more information on making a complaint:
Tel: 03 8600 8700
Freecall: 1800 062 058
TTY: 1800 675 692
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
PO Box 276
Collins Street West, Melbourne Vic 8007