The Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code sets minimum standards for informing customers about the terms and conditions related to telecommunications products and services.
Telephone and internet service providers must:
provide customers with important information about their services and products
advertise and sell their products and services in a way that clearly explains what is being offered and what you are purchasing.
This provides protection for you against misleading or deceptive conduct when suppliers advertise telecommunications products and services, and allows you to make informed purchasing decisions.
Understand what you are getting
Advertisements must clearly state:
any conditions of sale
This is to ensure that you fully understand the terms on which the product or service is being offered.
Free or unlimited
If the offer is for a 'free' phone or an 'unlimited' internet connection, you should check whether any conditions or limitations are attached to products and services advertised in this way.
A service provider must provide you with information about any fees and charges that are associated with a 'free' offer.
Making an informed decision
When a service provider advertises mobile handset and service packages they must tell you about:
Before entering a contract
You have the right to know certain information before you enter a contract. A service provider must provide you with a range of information—verbally or in writing—including:
the type of telecommunications product or service you are purchasing
whether the product is part of a bundled package
the term of the contract
how changes to a contract can take place—unless it is a Standard Agreement.
Your rights after making a purchase
When you buy a product or service a number of terms and conditions may be:
set out in a written contract
explained to you verbally
set out on product labelling.
The fact you have paid your money and started using the product or service does not mean an end to your rights. Rather, you have entered the period when many of the important terms and conditions attached to your purchase commence.
Changing a product or service
Any changes to the product or service you have purchased must be made in accordance with the terms and conditions of the original contract.
Examples of such terms that may appear in your supply contract include:
those relating to varying the contract
early termination of the contract
the return of a product within a specified period
incurring a specified amount of call charges in order to pay the minimum amount due under a contract.
Registration and enforcement of codes
Compliance with the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code is voluntary. However, if a phone company fails to meet the requirements of this code, the ACMA may direct it to comply with the code and may also seek penalties against the phone company.
Please note: this document is intended as a guide only and should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for legal advice in individual cases.