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After a year-long inquiry telco customer service and complaints-handling, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released its draft [ilink url=”http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_312222″]Reconnecting the Customer[/ilink] (RTC) report in early June 2011. It is a well considered report based on extensive evidence-based research.  Five research reports commissioned by the ACMA were launched at the same time. The ACMA’s…

Read More Time’s up on telco self-regulation: ACMA to act

CFA member CHOICE is calling for better regulation of pesticides and hazardous chemicals. More than 80 chemicals and pesticides no longer registered for use in Europe are available for every day agricultural and veterinary use in Australia. If that’s not alarming enough, about 75% were included in our current system 15 years ago as a…

Read More Better regulation for pesticides and hazardous chemicals

Australian money - $2 coins Australian money - $2 coins

To use an American phrase – it seems like a “no brainer”. Consumer groups from around Australia are calling on the Federal Government to cap interest rates at 48%. This cap is currently in place in three jurisdictions: New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT. However credit legislation is now a Federal Government responsibility; whether…

Read More 48% is Enough: Keep the Cap!

FCA Logo FCA Logo

CFA member Financial Counselling Australia today released the results of a survey of financial counsellors about their clients’ experiences with 1800 and 13/1300 numbers. Nearly every financial counsellor (98%) reported clients who have difficulty contacting services that use 1800 or 13 numbers due to the cost of the call from their mobiles. At the May…

Read More Financial counselling clients suffer from timed 1800 calls

The Mutual Banking Code of Practice sets out standards of good practice for credit unions and mutual building societies. The Code Compliance Committee (CCC) has a new  Executive Manager, and is conducting a number of reviews. This update also sets out current governance and investigation arrangements and provides information about this years’ annual compliance statements.…

Read More What’s new with the Mutual Banking Code of Practice Code Compliance Committee?

St James Ethics Centre logo St James Ethics Centre logo

St James Ethics Centre has released “Responsible Business Practice in Australia”, a report to the Australian Government. It was launched at the 12th National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development at Parliament House in Canberra on 16 July. The report reviews the key lessons learnt from St James Ethics Centre’s national ResponsibleBusiness Practice Project, which…

Read More Responsible Business Practice in Australia

Fair Go On Fees clip from Choice web site Fair Go On Fees clip from Choice web site

From 2005 Consumer Action, later joined by Choice, campaigned tirelessly for the major banks to remove or reduce their outrageous and skyrocketing penalty fees – fees as much as $50 applied just for going over your credit card limit by a few dollars or being a day late with a credit card payment. The Fair…

Read More Choice and Consumer Action bank penalty fee campaign saves consumers at least $112m each year

Denis Nelthorpe photo Denis Nelthorpe photo

Former CFA President Denis Nelthorpe and consumer advocate Elaine Attwood were both made Members of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queens Birthday honours list in June 2011. Denis has played many roles in the Australia consumer movement. He was  Director of the Consumer Credit Legal Service in the 1980s when it successfully took…

Read More CFA advocates recognised with Queens Birthday honours

Bulk debt report cover picture Bulk debt report cover picture

CFA Member Financial Counselling Australia has released a report by Denis Nelthorpe and Kaye Digney, that describes the rationale and outcomes of the Bulk Debt Negotiation Project conducted by West Heidelberg Community Legal Service in 2010-11. The project aimed at assisting judgment-proof debtors – those on low incomes, with few or no assets – who…

Read More Bulk debt negotiation project outcomes