Friday, 20 September 2019 10:52

ACMA acts against telco Infinity Telecom over industry rules breach Featured

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ACMA acts against telco Infinity Telecom over industry rules breach Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken action against Sydney-based telco Infinity Telecom for breaching industry rules requiring them to have mandatory information for consumers available on their website.

The telecommunications regulator has issued a remedial direction to the telco to amend its website following an investigation that found it lacked required information on NBN plans, financial hardship assistance and complaints handling.

And the action by Infinity has prompted a strong warning for all telcos by the ACMA to observe the rules governing the telecommunications industry.

ACMA authority member Fiona Cameron said the action should serve as a warning across the industry.

“Just because you aren’t a big provider, doesn’t mean you don’t have to take your obligations seriously,” Cameron said.

“These consumer safeguards are there to protect the community and all telcos need to play by the rules, irrespective of the size of the business.

“The ACMA was particularly concerned Infinity Telecom had failed to comply with rules requiring it to make available to consumers online a Financial Hardship Policy and summaries of the key details of plans.

“It is critical that vulnerable customers experiencing financial hardship are aware of their options,” Cameron said.

“It is unacceptable that any telco neglects to give basic information to consumers to help them choose the right service or make a complaint,” Cameron said

The investigation also found Infinity Telecom failed to:

  • Provide summarised information about typical busy period speeds, online usage levels and technical limitations for NBN plans
  • Have a complaints handling process on its website.

And the action by the ACMA has been welcomed by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) with a warning that phone and internet providers face fines of up to $10 million if they fail to carry out the requirements of a remedial direction issued by the Authority.

“The ACMA Standards and the TCP Code set out obligations providers need to meet and apply to all providers, whether they are big or small,” said Ombudsman Judi Jones

“The ACMA Standards and the TCP code are important safeguards for consumers to make informed decisions about telco products and services, knowing their rights about making a complaint, or seeking financial hardship assistance.”

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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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