Regulator news

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The Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) has formally warned Telstra, Optus and Vodafone for failing to provide information about products and services that may suit the needs of consumers with a disability. Telcos are required to provide this information under telecommunications consumer protection rules.  ‘Telecommunications services play a vital role in the lives of all…

Read More Telcos warned about disability information failures

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CHOICE says children’s lives are being jeopardised by business ignoring button battery risk, and are calling for an overhaul of product safety laws in the wake of recent tests which show manufacturers and retailers are ignoring safety risks posed by button battery powered items. “10 out of 17 button battery powered household items failed CHOICE…

Read More Button battery safety failures

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An Australian Government project to reduce harmful scam activity has released its Terms of Reference. The Scam Technology Project, led by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with representation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Cyber Security Centre, will explore ways to disrupt scam activity on telco networks. Chair…

Read More Scam project underway

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The following is a transcript of the keynote address presented by Fiona Guthrie AM, Chief Executive Officer of Financial Counselling Australia, at the ACCC 2019 National Consumer Congress. Reimagining the Corporation: Why we need to change the purpose of our biggest companies INTRODUCTION I am going to begin and end this speech in the same place. And that is…

Read More Reimagining the Corporation: Fiona Guthrie’s speech to the National Consumer Congress

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Australians’ ever-increasing appetite for data-hungry video services is transforming the communications landscape. This is a key finding of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Communications report 2017–18, tabled in federal parliament today. The annual ACMA report examines the current telecommunication and media environment, including the latest in industry innovations and consumer trends.   ‘Over 50 per…

Read More Changes to communications landscape accelerating

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A new affordable home broadband product for financially stressed Australians on low incomes should be a key priority for political parties ahead of the 2019 Federal election, according to consumer organisation ACCAN. Australia’s peak body representing telecommunications consumers, ACCAN, is urging the nation’s political parties to consider a proposal for a wholesale broadband concession that…

Read More No Australian Left Offline

Consumer Advocates in Canberra for the release of the Royal Commission's final report

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has now concluded. The Final Report and the Government’s response was released to the general public on Monday afternoon, providing a road map for law reform that should deliver improved standards in the finance sector.  Many of the report’s 76 recommendations have been welcomed by consumer organisations including CHOICE, Consumer…

Read More Consumer groups respond to Royal Commission Final Report

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The Australian Labor Party has announced a proposed ‘super complaint’ function for our consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Under the proposal, a ‘super complaint’ from designated consumer or small business groups about consumer or competition issues would require the ACCC to investigate and make a public response, including its proposed action,…

Read More Labor proposes ‘super complaints’ policy

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People will be hundreds of thousands of dollars worse off in retirement if the Federal Government doesn’t act now to stop the superannuation sector eroding savings. Today the Productivity Commission has released its plan to reverse the outdated structure that has led to poor performing funds, multiple accounts and zombie insurance policies. Fixing these problems…

Read More Advocates call for changes to superannuation sector

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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