Thursday, 07 November 2019 07:08

ACMA acts against 11 Telcos Featured

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"We will come after you" "We will come after you"

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as taken action against eleven telcos for failing to comply with consumer protection rules.

ACMA has issued a formal warning to M2 Commander, which provides energy services as well as Internet and telephony, for transferring a consumer’s service from another telco without their consent. M2 Commander is owned by Vocus. The transfer followed an unsolicited phone call to the consumer from an M2 Commander sales agent.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the breaches all fall under the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code.

In separate investigations, ten other telcos were found to have breached the TCP Code by failing to lodge annual compliance statements with independent monitoring group Communications Compliance.

The ten telcos are CNS Group Australia, Exetel, Novel Telecom, Real Sim, Red Broadband, Simply NBN, Telco4U, Trikon, Uniti Wireless and Voiteck. The ACMA has officially directed these telcos to submit annual compliance statements to show they are meeting obligations under the Code or risk facing further action such as fines or court proceedings.

Ms O’Loughlin said the recently strengthened TCP Code contains important consumer safeguards with strict rules in place for areas such as advertising, fair sales practices and helping consumers in financial hardship.

“We take breaches of the TCP Code very seriously. When telcos are failing their own customers it’s not good enough,” said Ms O’Loughlin. “These actions serve as a message to the wider industry that the ACMA will pursue failures to comply with consumer protection rules.”

Since July 2018, the ACMA has issued 14 directions and seven formal warnings to telcos for failing to comply with the TCP Code.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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