New draft telco industry code released
Telecoms industry body the Communications Alliance has released for public comment the latest draft of the new Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) Code.
The revised draft has been released for a 30-day period of public and stakeholder feedback before the registered and enforceable industry code of conduct is updated.
Key changes in the proposed new code include a new rule requiring mobile providers to address all enquiries and complaints about third-party services such as mobile premium services and direct carrier billing purchases, rather than directing customers to the third-party provider.
The new draft also introduces a new rule on credit assessment and makes it easier for customers to seek financial hardship assistance, and has been rewritten to ensure greater clarity and to comply with regulator ACMA’s new complaints handling standard.
The latest revision to the code has been conducted by a Communications Alliance working committee including consumer organisations, an independent chair, regulators, government and industry.
Once the consultation period is complete, the committee will evaluate all comments, make any required revisions, vote on the final version of the code and submit it to ACMA for consideration.
“The 2012 revision of the code was a successful collaboration of industry, consumers and regulators, and led to a drop of almost 50% in complaints to the industry Ombudsman in ensuing years,” Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said.
“Complaints have risen again over the past 18 months, coincident with the accelerated rollout of the nbn, but also in relation to other services, so it is vital that the industry make full use of tools including the stronger TCP Code to create a better overall consumer experience.”
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