The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken action against eleven telcos for failing to comply with consumer protection rules.
M2 Commander, a provider of internet, phone and energy services, was issued with a formal warning for transferring a consumer’s service from another telco without their consent.
The transfer followed an unsolicited phone call to the consumer from an M2 Commander sales agent.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the breaches all fall under the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code.
“The case of transferring a consumer’s service without their consent is particularly troubling,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
“At no point did the consumer consent to having their service transferred. This transfer should simply not have occurred.”
In separate investigations, ten telcos were found to have breached the TCP Code by failing to lodge annual compliance statements with independent monitoring group Communications Compliance.
The ten telcos are CNS Group Australia, Exetel, Novel Telecom, Real Sim, Red Broadband, Simply NBN, Telco4U, Trikon, Uniti Wireless and Voiteck.
The ACMA has officially directed these telcos to submit annual compliance statements to show they are meeting obligations under the Code or risk facing further action such as fines or court proceedings.
Ms O’Loughlin said the recently strengthened TCP Code contains important consumer safeguards with strict rules in place for areas such as advertising, fair sales practices and helping consumers in financial hardship.
“We take breaches of the TCP Code very seriously. When telcos are failing their own customers it’s not good enough,” said Ms O’Loughlin.
“These actions serve as a message to the wider industry that the ACMA will pursue failures to comply with consumer protection rules.”
Since July 2018, the ACMA has issued 14 directions and 7 formal warnings to telcos for failing to comply with the TCP Code.