Tuesday, 03 April 2018 22:00

Telcos up to scratch with NBN info for consumers Featured

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The majority of telcos are doing the right thing by consumers, with a review of their websites by the Australian Communications and Media Authority finding they are complying with rules to provide critical information about pricing, minimum monthly charges, and important service conditions for the national broadband network.

The review found the overwhelming majority of telcos are complying with rules to provide Critical Information Summaries to their customers.

But, despite the positive findings, three providers — Your Call Telecom, EHW Technology and Easy Internet Services — were formally warned by the ACMA for not providing any CIS. Each provider promptly addressed their non-compliance by developing CIS and including them on their websites.

The sweep also found that many providers were not following voluntary industry guidelines about the provision of information on medical alarms and the implications of power outages on new network services.

“CIS provide important information to consumers when making a choice between the plans offered by different telcos,” said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin. “Consumers can find this information outlining pricing, minimum monthly charges, and important service conditions on telcos' websites.”

The ACMA’s review covered all 131 telcos that were selling services provided over the NBN at the time of the review. It found that 97% of them have one or more CIS readily available on their website as required under the Telecommunication Consumer Protections Code.

“It’s encouraging to see a high level of compliance to provide information clearly and prominently as more consumers move to the new network,” O’Loughlin said. “However, we found a small number of providers fell short.

“The ACMA will be introducing new rules from 1 July to ensure that consumers have all the information they need — not just price information — to inform their decisions when moving to new services delivered over the NBN.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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