03.Revised telco code
The telecommunications landscape has, in theory, become less treacherous for mobile phone users over the past 18 months or so, with the federal regulator moving towards finding a cure for the long-running bill shock epidemic.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) efforts came to a head in September last year, when it laid down the law in the form of a revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code.
Among other things, the updated code stipulates that a customer’s mobile data usage should be available in real time, and that automatic management alerts be sent when the user reaches 50%, 85% and 100% of their data usage.
For more information, read our article on the new telco consumer code.
CHOICE applauds ACMA’s efforts to end bill shock and is looking forward to the next report from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), which will show whether the changes have made a difference.
In 2011-12, two-thirds of complaints to the TIO were about mobile phones. Over the same period, 34% of telco postpaid customers suffered a bill shock incident, and a quarter of those were hit with a bill at least $200 higher than expected.
Australian telco analyst Telsyte estimates there are more than 30 million data-enabled devices active in Australia, and that telcos now make more money from mobile data and messaging than voice calls.
Worryingly, all the telcos we spoke to except Telstra had a significant increase when it comes to overall TIO complaints as of the latest report.