The ACMA does not have a role in setting telephone call charges—these are set by individual carriage service providers (CSPs).
Questions about specific call charges should be directed to your service provider. If you have a dispute with your service provider over call charges that you cannot resolve, you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).
If you are concerned about the cost of calls with your service provider, you can speak to them about options or contact other service providers to see if they can provide a cheaper service.
13/1300/1800 call charges
Charges for calls to numbers starting with 13 and 1300 must be charged at an untimed low-charge rate from a standard telephone service (in general, a traditional fixed-line service). Calls to 1800 numbers must be free of charge from a standard telephone service.
These obligations do not apply to calls from other service types, including mobile services.
CSPs charging for local calls made using a standard telephone service must give you the option of an untimed local call.
Working out how a landline call is charged depends on your agreement with your provider. Some providers allow calls as part of your monthly charge, at no additional cost between capital cities. Others may charge an untimed flat fee.
Fees can be based on the location of the person making and receiving the call. Generally, calls between two places within the same geographic charging area or to adjoining standard charging areas are considered a local call and would be charged an untimed flat fee.
Your service provider will be able to tell you in which standard zone your service and other services are located. They will also be able to provide you with information to explain how the charges for any calls you make are calculated.
More information about the untimed local call obligation is set out in Part 4 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 (the TCPSS Act).
CSPs can supply services using numbers outside the specified geographic area if they give certain information to you. Using a number in this way is referred to as being ‘out-of-area’.
For example, if you were living in Pyrmont, Sydney, you would normally be issued a number starting with (02) 9334 XXXX. However, you may be issued a number starting with the same area code but a different prefix. If a CSP offers you a service with an out-of-area number, they must notify you in writing that:
- calls to the number may be charged as if the service is actually located in the geographic area for the number
- the number used with the service may not be able to be ported to another CSP (unless you find a CSP willing to accept the number).
Industry Services and Numbering Section