×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 63
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 15:20

Conroy promises legislation to improve consumer protection

By


Communications minister, senator Stephen Conroy, has promised to amend the Telecommunications Act to improve consumer protection.

Consumer protection is largely via industry codes, developed by the industry but given the force of law by being registered with the ACMA.

Last year Conroy initiated a review into the way that telecommunications industry consumer codes are developed. He said today that the review had been completed and that, as part of the Government's response to the review, he would "amend the Telecommunications Act, to give the minister the authority to direct ACMA to develop an industry standard, where the minister considers it appropriate to do so."

Conroy explained that "Unlike a consumer code, a consumer protection standard will be developed by the regulator, who will need to balance the interests of consumers with those of the industry. It will be directly enforceable by the ACMA and therefore, it will be a more powerful and flexible instrument."

Failure to comply with an industry standard would be subject to civil penalty provisions. Corporations would be subject to penalties of up to $250,000 and individuals to penalties of up $50,000 for each contravention.

CONTINUED

You can read more stories on telecommunications in our newsletter ExchangeDaily, click here to sign up for a free trial...




Conroy said that the industry code development process, run by Communications Alliance "is cumbersome and inflexible because there is currently no way that a code can be varied - even for minor or urgent changes."

He promised to amend the Telecommunications Act "to allow for codes to be varied rather than replaced in their entirety," saying: "This will make codes a more flexible and responsive to consumer concerns. A new requirement that the code developer must publish submissions will make the process more transparent and the code developer more accountable.

Communications Alliance is to commence its scheduled reviews of the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code, and the Mobile Premium Service Industry Code in May and Conroy said: "This is an opportunity for industry to demonstrate that the co-regulatory framework can work better, and have proper regard for the concerns of consumers. I have asked my Department, and the ACMA, to work with industry and consumer groups to produce stronger, more enforceable codes under this process."

Conroy also noted that the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009, currently held up in the Senate, contains a range of provisions to strengthen consumer protection. "It proposes to strengthen the customer service guarantee and the USO and allows for the establishment of new enforceable performance benchmarks."

You can read more stories on telecommunications in our newsletter ExchangeDaily, click here to sign up for a free trial...



 


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

GRAND OPENING OF THE ITWIRE SHOP

The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.

ENTER THE SHOP NOW!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments