Home Telecoms & NBN Dropping silent line charges good for consumers: ACCAN

Dropping silent line charges good for consumers: ACCAN

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network says Telstra’s decision to remove charges for telephone users who want to use its silent line services will lead to better consumer outcomes and privacy protections for customers.

ACCAN, the peak communications consumer organisation, says with Telstra customers no longer needing to pay the monthly $2.93 silent line fee, they will be able to control whether their number is listed or unlisted, or whether their number is visible to the people they call, by logging in to the Telstra 24x7 app or My Account.

Telstra announced this week that it would remove the silent line charges from 18 February.

The ACCAN says the option to have a number that isn’t listed in a directory and that isn’t visible to call recipients is important for consumers who are concerned about their privacy.

“This is especially true for people whose safety could be compromised if personal information were published in a directory such as the White Pages.

“ACCAN maintains that consumers should never be charged to protect their privacy, and has been in discussions with Telstra about the removal of the fee for some time. Removal of the fee is a positive outcome for consumers. However, it is important to note that for many years’ providers such as Optus have not been charging customers for silent lines.
 
“ACCAN advises all Telstra customers, including those with broadband only, to check whether their information is listed in directories such as the White Pages, and to change their preference if needed.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).