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ACMA Names And Shames Telcos For Violating Act

Several telcos are being named and shamed for not warning potential customers they don’t offer Priority Assistance services for people with life-threatening medical conditions.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) issued formal warnings to eleven telcos who failed to warn potential customers they didn’t offer the service, or failed to tell them one that does.

Activ8me, Aussie Broadband, Dodo, Exetel, Foxtel, MyRepublic, Skymesh, Southern Phone, Spintel, TPG, and V4 Telecom were all named by ACMA.

Dodo, Skymesh, and TPG informed potential customers they didn’t offer the service, but failed to refer them a telco that could.

Priority Assistance (PA) is a special customer status for anyone diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions.

Its purpose is to provide a reliable, fixed-line home phone service so those requiring it are able to call for help at any time.

PA customers are entitled to the highest level of service practicably available, including priority connection and fault repair.

Telcos are expected to connect or repair PA customers’ services within 24 hours in urban and rural areas and 48 hours in remote areas, or provide them with an interim service.

Telstra is the only telco required by law to provide PA services, but others may do so voluntarily.

Its biggest competitor, Optus, doesn’t offer Priority Assistance, directing potential customers back to Telstra.

The Telecommunications Act 1997 requires telcos offer a priority assistance service or inform customers of a competitor that does.


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