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Critical Information Summaries

All telcos that sell telecommunications products, plans and services must provide a Critical Information Summary (CIS). 

The CIS is important if you are thinking of buying a new mobile, landline or internet product or service.

It helps you compare features and prices from different telcos. It also tells you what to expect, such as:

  • what is included in the product, service or plan, and what is limited or excluded
  • the fees and charges for the product or service, even if it is a ‘free’ offer
  • how long the minimum contract lasts
  • how much it costs to use national or international roaming (mobile only)
  • what to do if you have a complaint

When to read the Critical Information Summary

Every telco must provide a Critical Information Summary (CIS) on their website for each product, service and plan.

Read the CIS before you enter into a contract for a new service or plan.

If you buy a new product or service over the phone, you have 2 choices:

  1. You can ask the telco to send you the CIS before you sign the contract. This will delay the start of your contract.
  2. You can decide you don’t want to wait for the CIS before the sale. If you do this, the sales representative has to tell you the main details before you buy. Within 5 business days of the sale, they must send you a copy of the CIS by post.

A sales representative must not encourage you to give up your right to read the CIS. If you think they are doing this, you should complain to the telco. If you are not satisfied with their response, complain to the telecommunications ombudsman.

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