The Australian Communications and Media Authority has formally warned two telco service providers to comply with the Telecommunications Consumer Protections code (TCP code).
The ACMA found that Australian Private Networks (trading as Activ8me) and Sure Telecom had failed to make available Critical Information Summaries (CIS) that comply with the TCP Code. CIS allow consumers to compare telco offerings on a like-for-like basis to help them understand and compare plans.
Since the warnings were issued, the two companies have moved quickly to comply.
The requirement for telcos to offer succinct CIS to customers and prospective customers is a major new element of the recent TCP Code, and has been a requirement since 1 March 2013. This is the first enforcement action about CIS taken since then.
‘The ACMA expects industry compliance with the TCP Code,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. ‘Where we see non-compliance and bring that to a provider’s attention, we expect a rapid response. In most cases, that has been forthcoming. Where it is not, we will not hesitate to use our formal enforcement powers.
‘The industry has known for eight months that these requirements were looming. While we acknowledge the two providers were working toward achieving compliance, the pace of this work was not satisfactory,’ Mr Chapman added.
The ACMA audited 90 CIS of 49 providers in March. Despite some initial tardiness in meeting the requirements, the ACMA’s assessment is that compliance is now widespread among large and medium sized providers. The ACMA will next assess the compliance of 20 smaller providers with CIS requirements.
An example of a CIS is available here: http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib311902/critical_info_summary.pdf.
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