Regulator news

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Telco consumers can expect a better complaints-handling experience under a new industry standard and record-keeping rules announced today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). This is the first tranche of new rules announced by the ACMA in December 2017 to improve consumers’ experience in migrating to the National Broadband Network (NBN). The ACMA’s actions follow its industry information-gathering exercise and its…

Read More ACMA rules kick in on telco complaints

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ASIC is warning consumers about companies that claim they can fix a poor credit rating. ASIC is running a month-long campaign, with other Commonwealth, state and territory agencies, to help consumers understand that by using credit repair and debt management firms they may end up paying high fees. Consumers should be aware these companies often…

Read More ASIC warns consumers about paying high fees for credit repair and debt advice services

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Consumer group CHOICE welcomes the Federal Budget measures that will make superannuation insurance opt-in, auto-reunite people with lost accounts and ban exit fees. “Making insurance in super opt-in rather than opt-out for people who are at greatest risk of being fleeced will make a huge difference to the retirement savings of millions of Australians,” says CHOICE…

Read More Welcome Budget boost for Super

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CHOICE is launching canisaveonenergy.com.au to help people tap into hundreds of dollars in electricity savings. “We’ve decided to intervene in the electricity market and cut out the commercial switching sites which are paid by energy companies to sell their products,” says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey. “Unfortunately, the electricity market has been stitched up by cosy…

Read More Can I save on energy?

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Today the Federal Government announced that there will be tougher penalties for corporate misconduct, and stronger powers for the corporate regulator ASIC. The Federal Government  has agreed or agreed-in-principle to every recommendation made in the ASIC Enforcement Taskforce final report that was finalised in December 2017. Company directors will now face up to 10 years’…

Read More Jail time for corporate crooks needed to clean up finance sector

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ACCAN is alarmed that complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) have increased by 28.7 percent in the six months to December 2017, compared to the same time the previous year. The peak Australian telecommunications consumer body says the TIO’s latest statistics reinforce the need for urgent industry action to put customers first. “Continuing high numbers of complaints shine a…

Read More Continuing rise in telco complaints shows need for urgent reforms

Ruby Hutchison Ruby Hutchison

The following is an edited extract of the 2018 Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture, presented by Fiona Guthrie AM, Chief Executive Officer of Financial Counselling Australia. The annual lecture is a CHOICE and ACCC co-project. Queensland’s Courier Mail recently ran a front-page story about payday loans. It told the story of Trina Begg, a single mother of…

Read More Fiona Guthrie AM presents 2018 Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture

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The ACCC has today published the final report of its communications sector market study, which includes 28 recommendations and actions on competition and consumer issues. Much has changed since the ACCC published its draft report in October 2017. Since then, the ACCC has secured eight court-enforceable undertakings from various internet service providers on NBN speeds,…

Read More ACCC finalises report on communications market

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A new Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) intelligence sweep of telco websites has found the overwhelming majority of telcos are complying with rules to provide Critical Information Summaries (CIS) to their customers. ‘CIS provide important information to consumers when making a choice between the plans offered by different telcos,’ said ACMA Chair, Nerida O’Loughlin. ‘Consumers can find this…

Read More Telcos make a good start in providing critical information on NBN offers

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Consumer Action Law Centre, CHOICE and NSW Legal Aid today published submissions in response to the first round of hearings before the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Finance Sector on consumer lending and add-on insurance. Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) argues in its submission that directors of the big banks may…

Read More Consumer Groups call for tougher penalties, ban on broker commissions in submissions to Royal Commission

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ACCAN welcomes the release of the first round of results from the ACCC’s Measuring Broadband Australia speed monitoring program, and its generally positive findings. ‘We’ve long been calling for the independent monitoring of broadband speeds so consumers know what they’re likely to be getting when they buy a service. We’re strongly supportive of the ACCC’s…

Read More ACCAN welcomes ACCC’s first NBN speed test results