From tomorrow, September 1, new Australian telecommunication protections will come into force, aimed at providing further protection to consumers and dealing with many of the issues between customers and telecommunications providers that have risen over the past few years.
The new Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code comes into force from midnight tonight, and will see a series of improvements made to customer dealings with telecommunications providers, including complaint handling, financial hardship, advertising, billing and – one of the biggest problems – international roaming charges.
“The ACMA will take a far more robust approach to ensure the industry’s compliance with the new Code and we have resourced up in this space,” Australian Communications and Media Authority Chair, Chris Chapman said in a statement today.
“I am encouraged by how CA [Communications Alliance] is taking a leading role to ramp up industry knowledge of the code by establishing compliance courses and would highly recommend that all the telcos participate,” he continued.
Optus today moved to ensure customers were aware of its new initiatives relating to the code, releasing a statement that highlighted a new usage alert service that will send out SMS notifications to most post-paid customers when they reach 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their voice, text and data allowance. Soon, the company will also offer ‘Top Ups’ to customers close to their limit, allowing them to temporarily raise their value and data to avoid incurring higher charges.
“We understand our customers can get frustrated when they don’t know how much data or included value they’ve used and incur extra charges,” Vicki Brady, Managing Director of Customer at Optus said.
“These initiatives showcase Optus’ commitment to providing greater transparency to our customers and keeping them up to date with their monthly spend.”
The new code is a result of the public consultation on ACMA’s Reconnecting the Customer inquiry, that looked at the current problems in the industry and ways to combat them.