ACMA agrees to register revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP)

Wednesday, 11 July, 2012

ACMA agrees to register revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP)

The Australian and Communications Media Authority (ACMA) today agreed to register the revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code, which ACMA says will give telco customers greater protection on issues such as bill shock, confusing mobile plans and poor complaints handling.

The Communications Alliance welcomed the decision and simultaneously announced the appointment of telco veteran Deirdre Mason as the Independent Chair of Communications Compliance - the company newly created to foster and monitor industry-wide compliance with the TCP Code.

Mason was previously a director of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), the Chief Executive of the Committee for Sydney and a long-time Telstra executive, responsible for consumer relations. She is one of three directors appointed to Communications Compliance (CC) by the Board of Communications Alliance.

John Stanton, Comms Alliance CEO, said the new TCP Code was the most comprehensive upgrade of consumer protections ever achieved in the telco sector.

“This code heralds a sea change in the telco consumer experience in Australia,” Stanton said.

The code can be downloaded free of charge from the Comms Alliance website.

Michael Lee, Communications Alliance Chair and former Federal Minister for Communications, will also serve on the Communications Compliance Board.

Communications Compliance will call for expressions of interest from consumer representatives to occupy the third non-executive director position on its Board. Margaret Fleming will serve on the CC Board in a transitional role until the consumer-representative director is appointed. The CC Board will also search for an executive director to lead the day-to-day operations of the new company.

Stanton described the creation of CC as a landmark event in the transformation of telco industry customer service and complaints handling.

“Communications Compliance fills a vital gap in the co-regulatory framework - that of a strong independent body to verify that service providers nationwide are complying with the comprehensive and expanded set of consumer protections enshrined in the revised TCP Code,” he said.

Stanton urged all industry players who have not already undertaken training to assist them to achieve compliance with the TCP Code to do so by registering their interest at the Comms Alliance website.

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