The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has agreed to register the new Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code, which will aim to give ‘long-suffering telco customers’ greater protection on issues such as bill shock, confusing mobile plans and poo complaints handling.


“The industry has developed initiatives in its code to deliver world’s best protections for Australian consumers which should give rise to a much needed, much improved, customer experience,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.


“What industry players will be delivering to their customers is access to the information, tools and remedies to equip them to demand and drive better service. Telecommunication companies, having established the clearest possible roadmap of what they need to deliver, will now have to perform.”


The release of the code comes after ACMA issued a warning in 2010 that unless there was significant improvement to consumer protection the industry would lose its right to develop its own protection rules and would face direct regulation.


The industry then promptly responded with participation in the Reconnecting the Customer public inquiry in 2011, which went beyond the consumer protection methods and examined the root causes of the industry’s system issues in service and complaints-handling woes and mandated the material improvements required.


The subsequent Reconnecting the Customer report addressed all the various customer lifecycle: better advertising practices, more effective information for consumers, tools to avoid bill shock, streamlined complaints-handling, a customer care reporting framework and changes to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) scheme.


More information can be found here