Pre-selection for consumers | ACMA

Pre-selection for consumers

Pre-selection for consumers

Pre-selection enables you to choose a different telephone provider (other than the provider that supplies your local calls) to supply other call types either on an ongoing basis or just for an individual call.

Pre-selectable services

Services you can pre-select include:

  • national long-distance calls
  • international calls (0011)
  • fixed-to-mobile calls
  • certain operator-assisted services
  • international ring-back pricing calls.

You can only choose one provider to supply all the pre-selectable services at any one time on an ongoing basis. This means that these services are supplied in a single package or bundle. This is referred to as 'single-basket' pre-selection.

Pre-selection encourages providers to compete for customers by offering cheaper call prices, attractive pricing plans and service features. Pre-selection use however has declined considerably since consumers can bundle local calls and services such as fixed-to-mobile calls and national/international calls. Pre-selection is not available on mobile phones.

Over-ride dial codes

Pre-selection over-ride dial codes allow you to key in a four digit over-ride code (prior to the telephone number) to bypass the selected provider and use another provider on a call-by-call basis.

This allows you to take advantage of special deals offered by other providers without changing your default pre-selected provider.

For example you may select Company A to supply your ongoing pre-selectable services but select Company B’s over-ride code to make a national long distance call and Company C’s over-ride code to make an international call.

The ACMA's role

Pre-selection has to be provided in accordance with the Telecommunications Act 1997 .


  • makes determinations about the provision of pre-selection
  • makes exemptions from requirements
  • ensures compliance with its determinations.

New regulation

From June 2012, telephone providers are not required to offer pre-selection on wireless services, particularly on interim wireless services in new developments pending the rollout of fixed-line infrastructure. It also removes the requirement to offer pre-selection on services provided via the National Broadband Network.

Pre-selection must be offered on standard telephone services supplied on the copper network and on fibre networks where the network operator also provides retail services.

Granting exemptions

The ACMA may grant a particular telephone provider an exemption to provide pre-selection. In making its decision, the ACMA will consider whether:

  • it is technically feasible for the provider to comply with the requirement
  • compliance with the requirement to provide pre-selection would impose unreasonable financial hardship on the provider.

Frequently asked questions

Which telephone company am I pre-selected with?

You can find out which telephone company you are pre-selected with by dialling 12 711.

When is the pre-selection choice made on a new telephone service?

When you request a new service, the local telephone provider will ask you which provider you prefer to provide pre-selectable services. If you do not select a provider for pre-selection, then the local telephone provider will designate itself for pre-selectable services. Alternatively, a provider may ask you to waive your right to preselect or over-ride to another provider.

What are my options for pre-selection and who will bill me?

You can:

  • Pre-select (choose) your provider for national, international and fixed-to-mobile calls (all pre-selectable call types). When you dial a telephone number the call will be automatically carried and billed by the pre-selected provider.
  • Dial an over-ride code on a call-by-call basis. Your call will be connected and billed by the provider designated with the over-ride code. To activate this option you must dial the over-ride code before the telephone number.


How do I change my pre-selection choice?

You can change your pre-selection choice at any time by contacting your new pre-selected service provider. To do this, you must either sign an authority form or provide your new pre-selected service provider with some form of evidence that you have authorised the change. This might be in the form of a voice recording or a written document. Your new pre-selected service provider will inform your local call service provider of the change.

Can I use over-ride dial codes for individual calls if I have chosen an ongoing pre-selection provider?

Yes, you can use over-ride dial codes for individual calls even if you have a pre-selected provider.

How do I make a complaint?

Complaints should be lodged with your telephone company in the first instance.

If the complaint remains unresolved, consumers can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) on 1800 062 058 or The TIO offers a fast, free and fair dispute resolution service for small businesses and individuals that have a complaint about their telephone or internet service in Australia.

Contact us

Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or

Last updated: 02 May 2017