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The government will be enforcing new rules to prevent premium SMS suppliers from misleading its customers.

Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said, “New enforceable rules will provide a better deal for consumers when it comes to services such as premium messages. Misleading practices in the mobile industry will not be tolerated and providers must ensure better protection for consumers.”

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has approved a comprehensive package of measures to address consumer concerns on premium SMS services. The measures include a new Mobile Premium Services code, developed in cooperation with industry.

ACMA will also be able to enforce new rules to prevent premium SMS suppliers responsible for serious breaches from operating in the market.

Improvements for consumers include: 

– obliging carriers to allow consumers to bar services
– better complaint handling procedures
– new advertising requirements
– more transparency in the distribution chain
– greater clarity for consumers during subscription processes.

 

“The Rudd Government wants to see consumers in the telecommunications market getting the level of service that they expect. The Government put industry on notice to improve its act and industry has responded by cooperating in the development of these measures.”

“This new code will be reviewed  after 12 months, giving the Government opportunity to closely examine its operation, including the effectiveness of the dispute resolution framework.”

“I am optimistic that this new code will result in enhanced levels of confidence for consumers when dealing with the industry. However, should problems arise in the future the Government will look to further strengthen the measures announced today,” concluded Conroy.

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