New rulings to benefit consumers who are on the best mobile plan

With so many telecom providers out there offering a range of different services, the best way to properly compare phone plans is through a comparison service which can easily determine which one is best for you.

However new rules from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), set to come into effect tomorrow (September 1), will hopefully making understanding the different plans available and determining the best mobile plan for your needs even easier.

The Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code is set to give consumers more power when it comes to filing complaints against telecom providers, as well as introducing new rulings around advertising and billing.

One of the new rules will require telecom providers to offer clearer summaries of plans and information about their products, and to eventually completely eliminate the usage of the term 'cap' when it comes to non-hard-cap plans.

Telecom providers will also be required to reduce their back-billing periods, as well as offer free-of-charge billing information to consumers for the previous 24 months.

"The new code will also dramatically improve consumer protection in the key areas of bill shock and confusing mobile plans over the next year," said ACMA chairman Chris Chapman in a statement released August 31.

"The ACMA will take a far more robust approach to ensure the industry's compliance with the new Code and we have resourced up in this space. We will conduct more audits and investigations dealing with key areas of consumer detriment and expect substantial changes in industry practices."

Mr Chapman noted that any providers which choose not to comply with the new code and are found guilty of multiple breaches could be liable for civil penalties of up to $250,000.

Posted by Eve Gillespie