Accessibility

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The latest data from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reveals that consumers and small businesses made 14,671 complaints between October and December 2023, an increase of 13.4 percent compared to the previous quarter, but a 17.9 percent decrease compared to the same time last year.

Read More Complaints to TIO Increased for the Quarter But the Yearly Decrease Trend Continues

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A coalition of advocacy groups, including Consumer Action Law Centre, CHOICE and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, have come out forcefully stating that customer reimbursement, paid for by industry through a customer’s own bank, must be at the centre of the Federal Government’s proposed new scam laws. The advocates say the new laws must be urgently implemented by the end of this year to stop the billions of dollars that are being lost by Australians every year to scammers.

Read More Industry Liability the Clear Path to Scam Reform

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“The volume of complaints escalated to AFCA has been increasing at an unsustainable rate,” David Locke, the Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), said.  

“Scam-related complaints to AFCA have nearly doubled between 2022 and 2023. They continue to be of great concern to us. We are also seeing the impact of increased interest rates and cost of living pressures, with complaints involving financial hardship also significantly higher,” Mr Locke said.

Read More Ombudsman Warns of “Unsustainable” Increase as AFCA sees a Record 100,000 Complaints

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A new survey of almost 9000 supporters from consumer group CHOICE has found 40% of respondents had a flight cancelled or delayed in the past 12 months. 

“As we head into the Christmas season, a huge number of people will be relying on flights to visit family and friends. Unfortunately, our survey of almost 9000 people from across the country has found consumers still face a number of difficulties when dealing with the aviation industry,” says CHOICE Senior Campaigns and Policy Advisor, Bea Sherwood.

Read More Consumer Groups Call for New Passenger Rights for Flyers as Delays and Cancellations Continue

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The 2023 Australian Consumer Survey has just been released and the figures are interesting, with a little over half of all purchases in Australia are now made online compared to 23% in 2016. The concerns of consumers also reflects this online trend as consumers making online international purchases are often unsure about the application of Australian Consumer Law (ACL), and as more and more people are targeted by, and are concerned about, scams.

Read More Consumer Thoughts: 2023 Australian Consumer Survey Released

Rank the Banks Other Lenders and Debt Collectors

Financial Counselling Australia, in conjunction with the state and territory financial counselling associations, released its bi-annual Rank the Banks (and Other Lenders) survey which found the big four banks performing well, but all other lenders failing their customers in financial hardship.

The survey collates the views of financial counsellors on how the banking industry and other lenders respond to customers in financial hardship. Undertaken in late September and October 2023, 431 financial counsellors responded from every Australian state and territory for a response rate of 42 per cent.

Read More 2023 Rank the Banks (and Other Lenders) Released

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Every Australian deserves equitable access to banking services. That’s why the Australian Banking Association (ABA) has broadened the scope of its accessibility framework to ensure the banking sector remains inclusive in a fast-changing digital landscape.
An important addition to the Accessibility and Inclusion Principles for Banking Services is a section on embedding accessibility into digital authentication processes, as the banking industry steps up its fight against scams, fraud and identiy theft. 

Read More ABA Updates and Broadens Accessibility Framework

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its Insurance Monitoring Report for 2023, the reports second annual release. The reports key focus was on insurance for homes, strata and small business in the Northern Territory and the effect, reception and role of the government’s new cyclone reinsurance pool. Due to the differences in…

Read More Insurance Monitoring Report 2023 Released

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A report from our Consumers International Global Congress representative, Deputy Chair Chandni Gupta Final day of the 2023 Global Congress and the pace remained fast and fascinating with enlightening presentations with a key focus on sustainability to close off the conference. Below are some highlights from Day 3. Sustainable appliances for a green transition An…

Read More Building a Resilient Future – Day 3 of Consumers International Global Congress

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“The ACCC will closely assess any proposed response, and in particular the extent to which it secures ongoing access to cash in remote and regional areas where bank branches are limited and members of the public often access cash through non-bank sources including Australia Post and retailers,” ACCC Acting Chair Catriona Lowe said.

“A key condition of this interim authorisation is that the ABA report on their discussions to maintain access to cash in regional and remote areas. This will be an important consideration for any future application for authorisation by the industry.”

Read More ACCC Authorises Industry Collaboration for Sustainable Access to Cash