Mobile user safeguards | ACMA

Mobile user safeguards

As a mobile phone user, you benefit from general safeguards, however there are no legislated safeguards exclusively relating to mobile phone services, as there are for fixed services.

Who will help me if I have a problem with my mobile phone service?

Contact your mobile phone company and try to get the problem resolved.

If you can’t resolve the issue with your company, you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

What consumer safeguards protect me as a mobile phone user?

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 gives consumers a number of guarantees regarding purchased goods, including telecommunications products such as mobile handsets and modems.

Your service provider must guarantee:

  • products are of acceptable quality and fit for the purpose claimed by them
  • that spare parts and repair facilities are available for a reasonable time
  • that their services are reasonably fit for any purpose they claim

More information is available from The Australian Consumer Law.

Industry codes

Industry codes can be developed by bodies and associations that represent sections of the telecommunications industry.

The codes can be on any matter that relates to a telecommunications activity, and industry members may become voluntary signatories to a code.

Industry bodies can present codes to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for registration. Once a code is registered, the ACMA can direct any participant in the telecommunications industry that is breaching the code to comply with it, whether they are a voluntary code signatory or not.

The TIO will accept complaints about breaches of a particular code that it has agreed to cover. This allows consumers to take their concerns to the TIO.

The Communications Alliance Ltd has produced industry codes that relate either directly or indirectly to mobile phone services. The following codes have been registered with the ACMA:

  • The Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code, which requires telco providers to be clear about what they are offering in their phone plans, to provide better spend management tools designed to avoid bill shock, including improvements in billing processes and credit management, and notifications about data usage and expenditure thresholds.
  • The Mobile Number Portability Code, which sets out the operational procedures for mobile number portability processes where the customer wants to change their mobile carrier network (not just between mobile phone companies on the same network).

More information

Please note: this document is intended as a guide only and should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for legal advice in individual cases.


Last updated: 09 May 2017