Telstra has paid a $3,010,320 penalty and refunded over $17.7 million to thousands of customers after charging them for inactive internet services over an 11-year period. A further $3.4 million is to be refunded by the end of the year.
An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found that 6,532 customers, the majority of whom were small businesses, were wrongly billed by Telstra an average of around $2,600 between April 2012 and August 2023.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the ACMA has lost patience with Telstra after this series of significant billing errors.
Read More Telstra to Pay $24 million in Penalties and Refunds for Inaccurate Billing
“While we found that Coles may have an incentive to consolidate some of its milk volumes in the eastern states, this was unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition,” Mr Keogh said.
“Coles will likely continue to face financial incentives to stock and support branded milk from other processors, due to the higher retail margins it earns on these products.”
In addition, the ACCC found that Coles’ commercial incentives to consolidate its milk supply would exist with or without the transaction due to the significant excess capacity at the Laverton and Erskine Park facilities.
Read More “[U]nlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition”, ACCC Okays Coles Milk Plant Acquisitions
The mandatory Code for Scams consultation paper announced by the Federal Treasury today sets out some proposals to tackle the scams crisis, however the final regulation must land on clearer stipulated standards and consumers’ rights to reimbursement of scams losses from banks if standards are not met.
“Mandatory and enforceable codes are a step forward, but consumers must be able to seek reimbursement easily, and there needs to be clarity on the high standard expected of banks and their liability,”
Read More Mandatory Code for Scams Promising But More Regulation Needed
“eSafety and indeed the wider community, expect that all online services, should be taking all reasonable steps to prevent their services from being used to store, share and distribute this horrific content and that’s what these standards are intended to achieve.”
Read More Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Opens Draft Industry Standards to Public Consultation
Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) has filed a class action in the Federal Court of Australia against Taylors Business Pty Ltd. The lead plaintiff, a Victorian woman, represents herself and a group of Taylors Business customers who pawned goods of value to them, but can no longer access their goods because the business has been shut down. Consumer Action became involved when we had a spike of enquiries to our frontlines from affected customers, many distraught at the prospect of losing their items.
Read More Class Action Launched in Federal Court Against Pawnbroker ‘Taylors Business’
Original media release by ASIC (6/11/2023). ASIC has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court alleging Telstra Super failed to comply with internal dispute resolution requirements. This is the first proceeding under this regime, which came into effect on 5 October 2021. The new regime makes certain provisions of ASIC’s Regulatory Guide for Internal…
Read More ASIC Takes Action Against Telstra Super in First Proceeding Under its New Regime
The report, based on data sourced from Code subscribers’ Annual Compliance Statements (ACS) reveals that a notable 175 brokers reported no breaches, and 152 reported no complaints in the reporting period.
Chair of the IBCCC, Oscar Shub, expressed concern over these findings.
Read More Concern Remains Over Under-Reporting of Insurance Code Breaches and Complaints
‘The reportable situations regime has now been in place for over two years, and licensees have had ample time to take the necessary steps to ensure full compliance with the requirements,’ said ASIC Chair Joseph Longo.
‘Since its commencement, ASIC has been working with stakeholders to improve the operation of the reportable situations regime, including through providing guidance and modifications. ASIC will now move to taking stronger regulatory action to drive improved compliance with the regime, including enforcement action where appropriate.’
Read More ASIC to Take “strong regulatory action” in Light of Second Publication on the Reportable Situations Regime
“In times of increasing crises, it is imperative that the insurance industry adapts to keep consumers at the forefront of its efforts. We will not accept subscribers using the same excuses in relation to poor handling of claims and complaints due to increased volumes.”
Read More General Insurance CGC’s Annual Report Released
The proposed standard will apply to all carriage service providers who deal with residential, small business and not-for-profit customers. It will enhance protections for telco customers who are (or may be) experiencing financial hardship through the provision of information and appropriate financial support to help them meet their payment obligations and remain connected to essential telco services.
The standard must be made by 15 February 2024 and commence by 29 March 2024.
We invite submissions on the draft Telecommunications (Financial Hardship) Industry Standard 2024 by 5 pm (AEDT) on Friday 24 November 2023.
Read More ACMA consults on new protections for telco consumers in financial hardship
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has recently published (19/10/2023) its latest ‘Systemic Issues Insights Report’, covering the second half of the 2022 to 2023 financial year. During that time AFCA received 81 reports, 55 of which were related to systemic matters.
Read More Australian Financial Complaints Authority Latest ‘Systemic Issues Insights Report’
The Life Insurance Code Compliance Committee (Life CCC) prioritised supporting a smooth transition to the new Code of Practice in 2022-23, according to its Annual Report.
The Annual Report 2022-23, published today, noted how the work of the Life CCC helped life insurers to proceed with clarity in aligning systems, processes and practices to new obligations in the Code.
The new obligations and additional consumer protections came into effect on 1 July 2023.
Read More Life Insurance Code Compliance Committee Releases First Annual Report Under the New Code of Practice