The impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns during 2021 underscored the essential nature of telecommunications, as well as the effect of poor telecommunications practices on people experiencing vulnerability, including financial disadvantage.
Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) and WEstjustice have had the opportunity to review the submission from the Australian Communications and Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), and endorse ACCAN’s recommendations. In particular, we support ACCAN’s recommendations on complaints handling; bundling of
telecommunications with other essential services like energy; the sale of telecommunication products via unregulated buy-now-pay-later credit; telecommunications consumers experiencing vulnerability; financial hardship; family violence; and scam prevention.
Furthermore, rather than repeating our submission for the 2021-22 financial year,
we ask the ACMA to review and consider that submission again this year, as these issues continue to result in consumer harm.
We also remain concerned about the comparatively lax consumer protection framework for telecommunications.
Given this, it is important that the ACMA not only utilises the compliance and enforcement tools available to it butalso considers whether the current Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) Code is sufficiently protecting consumers, or whether it is deficient.
Read our full submission/endorsement (PDF).220324 CALC WJ letter to ACMA compliance priorities 22-23