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ACMA stands for the Australian Communications and Media Authority and is the governing body representing industry and consumers across All Australian Media.

Here are some of the highlights of ACMA over the past 12-18 months:

Public inquiry into customer service and complaints in the telecommunications sector
Review of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s national classification system and an independent media investigation
National rules for broadband networks
A revision of the 400 MHz range, which resulted in the agreed spectrum for government agencies.
Digital dividend, including the transition from analogue to digital television
New radio code
Rules for the use and management of premium mobile services
Radio research series
Set up the “Don’t Call Me” registry
Anti-spam and cybersecurity initiatives
ACMA is certainly a very active government agency, but for the average consumer they will first come into contact with ACMA if they have a dispute with their communications provider.

If you have an argument with your telecommunications provider, ACMA will ask you to continue discussions with him to resolve your problem. However, if this does not bring you the desired result, you can contact TIO – the Ombudsman for the telecommunications industry.

TIO’s role is to provide dispute resolution to private and small businesses using telephone and Internet service providers. The program offers a free independent grievance resolution service.

ACMA’s responsibilities at the industry level are to advise the industry on various telecommunications and media issues, as well as to develop rules defining the responsibilities of the industry.

In the telecommunications sector, ACMA recently published and implemented the TCP Consumer Protection Code. Although the code itself was launched in late 2012, it was gradually being introduced into the Australian telecoms space to reduce shock payments, confusion in mobile subscriptions and poor complaints handling.

The code was introduced on the basis of key ACMA recommendations contained in the Customer Reconnection report, which found that choosing the wrong plan costs telecommunication customers $1.5 billion a year.

The real and obvious results of the recommendations are the mandatory introduction of critical information for all consumer services, as well as a number of alert mechanisms to protect consumers from overuse of their mobile services and, as a result, inflated mobile tariffs.

My name is Rania Georgalas and I love to blog on a variety of topics. I work in marketing, social networking and affiliate marketing.

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