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Action on telco safeguards: April to June 2018

New rules finalised

New rules finalised to improve the National Broadband Network (NBN) migration experience

Audit

Audit of critical information for consumers on telco websites

2 telcos

2 telcos directed to comply with the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code

7 telcos

7 telcos formally warned for not complying with the TCP Code

17 investigations

17 investigations finalised into telecommunications consumer safeguards

New rules to improve NBN migration experience

During the quarter, the ACMA made a number of new rules to improve migration to the National Broadband Network (NBN). The new rules oblige telcos to:

  • provide consumers with key information to choose an NBN plan that will meet their needs
  • not disconnect an old service until the new NBN connection is working, where that is feasible
  • if there are delays getting the new NBN service working, offer an interim service to the consumer or reconnect the old service within a reasonable timeframe while the NBN service is being fixed 
  • resolve consumer complaints effectively and quickly, with  service providers in the NBN supply chain working together to address consumer complaints
  • provide complaints data to the ACMA to allow it to monitor industry complaints handling performance of medium to large telcos

A final set of rules to ensure that telcos test new NBN connections to make sure they are working as promised was also in developed in June 2018.

Audit of critical information for consumers on telco websites

In April 2018, the ACMA released the results of an intelligence audit of 131 telco websites. The audit found that the overwhelming majority of telcos offering services over the NBN are complying with rules to provide Critical Information Summaries (CIS) to their customers.

CIS provide important information to consumers when making choices between the plans offered by different telcos.

Compliance action was taken against three telcos for not providing CIS (see ‘finalised enforcement actions’ below).

Compliance and investigation activities

We undertake compliance actions, including direct contact with telcos, compliance assessments and investigations, to uncover and address serious or systemic compliance issues.

Telco compliance activities—April–June 2018

Telco compliance activities

Finalised investigations

Organisation* Outcome Details
Body corporate utilities provider No breach of  the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 Alleged failure to join the TIO scheme. The business had evidence it was not required to join the TIO scheme.
Two telco providers Breach of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 Failure to join the TIO scheme. The telcos supplied telecommunications services that required them to join the TIO Scheme.
Six telco providers  Breach of the TCP Code  Six telcos did not provide mandatory statements about compliance practices, as required under the TCP Code. 
Eight telco providers  No breach of the TCP Code  The investigations determined that these telcos did not breach the requirement to lodge attestation documents as required under the Code. 

* The ACMA does not generally publish the names of entities that have not breached or where enforcement actions have not been finalised.

Finalised enforcement actions

Enforcement action may be taken where breaches are found.

Organisation Outcome Actions
Your Call Telecom Pty Ltd Formal warning Formally warned for not complying with the TCP Code. This breach concerned failure to provide CIS to its customers. 
EHW Technology Pty Ltd Formal warning  Formally warned for not complying with the TCP Code. This breach concerned failure to provide CIS to its customers.   
Easy Internet Services Pty Ltd  Formal warning  Formally warned for not complying with the TCP Code. This breach concerned failure to provide CIS to its customers.   
Lynham Networks Pty Ltd  Formal warning  Formally warned for not complying with the TCP Code. This breach concerned failure to provide a statement about compliance practices, as required by the TCP Code. 
Vostronet (Australia) Pty Ltd  Formal warning  Formally warned for not complying with the TCP Code. This breach concerned failure to provide a statement about compliance practices, as required by the TCP Code. 
BMP Australia Group Pty Ltd  Formal warning  Formally warned for not complying with the TCP Code. This breach concerned failure to provide a statement about compliance practices, as required by the TCP Code.
Central Connect (NSW) Pty Ltd  Formal warning  Formally warned for not complying with the TCP Code. This breach concerned failure to provide a statement about compliance practices, as required by the TCP Code. 
Globalgig Australia Pty Limited  Direction  This business was directed to comply with the TCP code. This breach concerned failure to provide a statement about compliance practices, as required by the TCP Code. 
ReddeNet Pty Ltd  Direction  This business was directed to comply with the TCP code. This breach concerned failure to provide a statement about compliance practices, as required by the TCP Code. 

Consumer protection priorities

As part of our approach, we identify priority compliance and education activities to help protect telecommunications consumers. Our compliance activities are currently focused on five areas:

  • complaints-handling processes
  • services supplied over the NBN
  • selling practices and financial hardship
  • customer service
  • information about products and services for consumers with a disability.

Consumer complaints and other information

If you have a problem, find out about your rights and make a complaint to your internet, mobile or landline service provider.

If your complaint to your service provider is not resolved, or if you are dissatisfied with the response, you are entitled to take your complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

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