Home Telecoms & NBN ACMA warns telcos on failure to provide info to disability consumers
ACMA warns telcos on failure to provide info to disability consumers Image supplied by the ACMA Featured

Australia’s three biggest telcos — Telstra, Optus and Vodafone — have been given formal warnings by the telecoms regulator for failing to provide information about products and services that may suit the needs of consumers with a disability.

Telcos are required to provide this information under telecommunications consumer protection rules and an investigation by the Australian Communications Media Authority found there were significant gaps in knowledge and awareness of disability products among consumer-facing sales staff of the three telcos.

“Telecommunications services play a vital role in the lives of all Australians. It is critical that consumers with a disability are able to find out about services and products that may suit their particular needs when making enquiries with their telco,” said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

Under the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code, telcos are required to provide information about the disability products and services they offer to those consumers who have identified such a need.

The ACMA initiated the investigation following research by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network that suggested poor practice by telcos in providing information to people with disabilities.

“The ACMA and Australian Communications Action Network work together on important consumer issues and I thank them for undertaking this research,” said O’Loughlin.

Following the ACMA’s formal warning, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone indicated they would ensure their staff were equipped with the right information about products and services for people with a disability.

The ACMA notes that Telstra, Optus and Vodafone also have information to assist consumers on their websites including how to contact them for further information about their products and services.

For more information about telco services suitable for people with disabilities, visit the Accessible Telecoms website.


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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).


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