The Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code provides a host of consumer safeguards for mobile, landline and internet customers. These safeguards are set out in clear rules that telecommunications providers must follow when communicating and dealing with customers. The rules cover the areas of advertising and point of sale, billing, payment methods, complaint handling and when customers change their service provider.
The TCP Code complements other general consumer protection measures such as the Australian Consumer Law.
A revised Code was registered in June 2019 and commences on 1 August 2019. The Code contains new credit assessment provisions, requiring providers to assess new customers and those moving from pre to post-paid service’s capacity to pay for contracts greater than $1000, stricter obligations on providers to ensure selling practices are fair and transparent, and clearer rights for consumer access to records relating to their contracts.
TCP Code consumer safeguards
The TCP Code requires telco providers to:
- ensure products are sold in a fair, transparent, responsible and accurate manner
- address all enquiries and resolve all complaints made to them regarding third-party charges that appear on a customer’s bill
- have strong credit assessment and financial hardship procedures
- provide consumers with relevant information regarding billing, products, pricing, terms and conditions and contracts.
The ACMA regularly monitors compliance with these requirements. For further details on these safeguards, please consult the TCP Code.
Under the TCP Code an industry compliance body, Communications Compliance, also monitors compliance among industry participants.