Regulator news and government inquiries

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The Essential Services Commission determines the maximum surcharge that can be collected when someone pays for a taxi using any method other than cash. The ESC is now reviewing this surcharge. Non-cash payment transactions include those made by credit card, charge card, and debit card. Cabcharge cards and dockets are also considered non-cash payment methods.…

Read More Victorian regulator consults on maximum taxi surcharges

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Today ASIC has released Report 604  Credit card lending in Australia – An update (REP 604), which sets out the changes being made by lenders to help consumers with credit card debt. In July 2018, ASIC released Report 580 Credit card lending in Australia (REP 580), which found more than one in six consumers is struggling with credit card debt. The…

Read More Lenders commit to improve credit card practices following ASIC review

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Thirty-one telcos face enforcement action for not having appropriately documented complaints-handling processes in place following investigations by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA investigated 41 telcos to assess their compliance with new requirements, in place since 1 July 2018, to have a documented complaints-handling process available for their customers. Following the investigations: only…

Read More Telcos directed to comply with complaints-handling rules

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The Australian Energy Regulator’s decision on the rate of return monopoly network businesses can earn will help create breathing space for consumers struggling with energy affordability. The CEO of Energy Consumers Australia Rosemary Sinclair said that the decision was important because the rate of return on capital accounts for around half the revenue network business…

Read More Regulator’s decision on network earnings creates breathing space for consumers

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New research from leading consumer and tenancy groups (CHOICE, National Shelter and the National Association of Tenant Organisations (NATO)) show that Australians who rent are living in fear of eviction and rent rises. The report ‘DISRUPTED: The consumer experience of renting in Australia ‘DISRUPTED: The consumer experience of renting in Australia’ surveyed Australians who rent…

Read More New report from leading consumer and tenancy group on renting in Australia

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The ACMA has established a Scam Technology Project to explore practical technical solutions to address the proliferation of scam calls over Australian telecommunications networks. ‘Scam calls are more than a nuisance. They pose a real threat, particularly to those in vulnerable circumstances such as older people,’ said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin. “This project will investigate…

Read More Scam Technology Project to address proliferation of scams

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Our health system should empower and support us to live happy and healthy lives. But increasingly, thousands of us are feeling frustrated by high-cost, low-value and overly complex health insurance policies. CHOICE research finds the majority of us don’t feel like we get value from our health insurance and are hit with high costs when…

Read More Fairer health insurance

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ASIC has released its first review of the rapidly growing buy now pay later industry. The review of this diverse and evolving market has found that buy now pay later arrangements are influencing the spending habits of consumers, especially younger consumers. A buy now pay later arrangement allows consumers to purchase and obtain goods and…

Read More ASIC puts spotlight on the rapidly growing buy now pay later industry

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“Given energy prices on the rise while the cost of solar power systems declines, it’s little wonder that almost one in four Australian households are using some form of solar power,” says CHOICE spokesperson Nicky Breen. “Interest in solar is growing with more than 750,000 solar power systems installed across the country in the last…

Read More Where to start with solar

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The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition has again called for the Australian Government to introduce much needed reforms to underpin the delivery of telecommunications services across Australia. The RRRCC repeated its call when responding to the government’s proposals, flagged in a Department of Communications and the Arts consultation paper, which focuses on the reliability…

Read More Regional coalition repeats call for reform to telecoms services