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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is reminding consumers that there are options available if they are experiencing financial distress and struggling to pay their telco bills. ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said that telcos have financial hardship programs available to support Australian consumers facing difficulties. “Telecommunication services are playing a critical role in keeping Australians connected…

Read More Telco financial hardship policies critical during COVID-19

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Consumer advocate says Lifetime Health Cover Loading should be suspended in light of COVID-19 financial pressures Consumer advocate CHOICE is calling on the Federal Government to suspend consumer penalties for not taking up private health insurance in light of the COVID-19 crisis. The advocacy group says the Government should add an extra 365 days to…

Read More “Penalties for not taking up private health cover must be suspended”: CHOICE

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Applications are now open for a grant pool of $3,000,000 to be submitted by 30 April 2020. Ecstra Foundation is a new not for profit organisation committed to building the financial capability of all Australians within a fair financial system. GRANT OVERVIEW  Eligible organisations may apply for up to three $100,000 grants  Open to established consumer organisations with DGR 1 status  Applications close 30…

Read More Ecstra Response and recovery grants to assist community organisations during COVID-19

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The ACCC is highly conscious of the impact COVID-19 is having on Australian consumers and businesses, and has adjusted the focus of its regulatory activities accordingly. Most businesses are facing severe disruption, particularly small businesses, and the future is uncertain for many. The ACCC will factor these circumstances into its consideration of competition matters in…

Read More ACCC response to COVID-19 pandemic

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has urged the Federal Government to prioritise a specific stimulus strategy for telecommunications services to keep Australians connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing social distancing and self-isolation efforts have resulted in millions of Australians increasingly relying on their home broadband service. As Australia’s peak body representing telecommunications consumers,…

Read More Government must act to address broadband affordability as unemployment predicted to rise: ACCAN

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Price gouging during the coronavirus crisis has been rampant. We’re calling on sellers big and small as well as online platforms to cease and desist.  CHOICE article. Last updated 20 March 2020. It may surprise you to learn that price gouging – jacking up prices for essential goods when supplies are low – is technically…

Read More CHOICE calls on sellers and online platofrms to put an end to price gouging

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Supermarket operators will be able to coordinate immediately to ensure consumers have reliable and fair access to groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic following the ACCC’s granting of interim authorisation. The interim authorisation will allow supermarkets to coordinate with each other when working with manufacturers, suppliers, and transport and logistics providers. The purpose of this is…

Read More Supermarkets to work together to ensure grocery supply

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The Medical Costs Finder is an online tool that helps people understand the cost of common medical procedures by specialists in Australia. In line with the Australian Government’s strategy to improve understanding and transparency of out of pocket costs, the web tool uses the most recent publicly available Government data about what people have paid…

Read More Understand the cost of medical procedures using Medical Costs Finder

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Consumer Action Law Centre has released its second edition of Regulator Watch: The enforcement performance of Australia’s consumer protection regulators. In 2013, Consumer Action published the first edition of ‘Regulator Watch’, which was written in response to the absence of a public mechanism to compare the enforcement work being done by Australia’s various consumer protection regulators. Since…

Read More Consumer Action releases Regulator Watch report

A black and silver stethoscope on a white table A black and silver stethoscope on a white table

For the first time, the majority of hospital treatment policies held by Australians now contain exclusions, the latest ACCC annual report into the private health insurance industry has found. More than 57 per cent of policies held by Australians contain exclusions, up from about 44 per cent in the previous year. “Many people may not be aware…

Read More Private health insurance premiums rise despite growing exclusions

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Do you want to make a difference? Do you want to ensure products and services include consumer protection? Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA) is calling for expressions of interest for volunteer consumer representative positions on the following  Standards Australia Technical Committees, as part of the CFA Standards Project.  Consumers are a key stakeholder group in the…

Read More Call for consumer representatives on Standards Australia Technical Committees – playground equipment and sports and recreational equipment

A gold statue of lady justice, a woman holding a sword and scales, in front of a blue background A gold statue of lady justice, a woman holding a sword and scales, in front of a blue background

Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA), CHOICE, Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Counselling Australia, Financial Rights Legal Centre and Super Consumers Australia have published policy submissions that respond to 22 of the Royal Commission’s 76 recommendations.  After the shocking scandals of the Royal Commission, consumer groups are supportive of the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s efforts to enact…

Read More Consumer advocates comment on draft legislation that responds to over a quarter of Banking Royal Commission recommendations