Earlier this week, ACMA registered a simplified version of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code). The previous ‘refresh’ was in 2012 and the TCP Code remained unnecessarily lengthy and confusing.
This week’s refresh has made the TCP Code shorter, clearer and more concise. Those things bring some relief to the telco businesses that are required to comply with the TCP Code and who can be penalised if they don’t.
Specifically, the TCP Code has been reduced from 102 pages to 88 pages through the removal of clauses which duplicate other laws, for example:
- Clauses concerning information which is misleading, warranties, unfair terms and the description of products, which are covered by the Australian Consumer Law.
- Call recording and clauses concerning credit reporting agencies, which are covered by the Privacy Act 1988.
Carriers will also note the amendments to clauses 4.5 and 4.6.3 of the revised code. Clause 4.5 concerns customer contracts and suppliers are no longer required to make available on their website:
- Their standard form customer contracts.
- Information on expired offers.
Suppliers are only required to make the above documents available to consumers generally and on the request of a customer.
Clause 4.6.3 concerns personal information, and now only applies to suppliers in circumstances where they are not required to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (i.e. small businesses).
The stated reason for the revision is that “...it now provides greater flexibility to industry in its information provision.” (ACMA media release 62/2015 – 3 December 2015).
There is still a long way to go to make the TCP Code more user friendly, however, the recent revisions are a step in the right direction.
For more information about the TCP Code and your compliance obligations contact Emma Lewis of Telco7 Legal Pty Ltd on 1300 835 267.