A revised draft of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code has been released today.
The revised Code (PDF), currently available on the Communications Alliance website, sets the rules for telco providers to improve consumer protection measures for residential and small business customers.
These measures include advertising, compulsory usage notifications, quick resolution of complaints, and supply of pre-sales product information.
The Code details the minimum requirements for billing, credit and debt management, complaint handling, compliance, contracts, customer transfer, sales and service. It also establishes a body to oversee the new framework for compliance with the Code.
The news has been welcomed by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).
“These are the rules that prescribe how telcos should treat their customers in relation to sales, customer service, billing, faults and complaint handling,” Teresa Corbin, ACCAN chief executive and member of the Code review’s Steering Committee, said in a statement.
“This revised Code attempts to address some of these points of pain for consumers.”
According to Corbin, it took more than 15 months to improve the Code. She also admitted the revised Code had fallen short on some of the main consumer protections.
The Australian Communications & Media Authority has given telcos until February 2012 to improve the Code in six key areas or face mandatory regulations.
The draft Code is open for public comment until 25 November.