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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Calling card companies warned Down Under

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, the government body that oversees the television, Internet, radio communications and telecommunication industries in Australia, issued warnings to two calling card providers, accusing them of withholding information from consumers about prepaid card products.

The ACMA said Skink Marketing Pty Ltd. and Lime Telecom Pty Ltd. "failed to provide key information to consumers about their calling card products." Specifically, the companies did not supply consumers with Critical Information Summaries (CIS), which are required by the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) code.

"These formal warnings are a reminder that the TCP code applies to all telcos, which includes calling card providers," said ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman.

The TCP, which went into effect in February 2013, mandates that providers of mobile telecommunications services issue to consumers detailed information about mobile products and services, including features, pricing, inclusions, and exclusions, as well as other information such as access to dispute resolution procedures and warnings about international roaming costs.

The CIS must be offered free to consumers at the POS or on service providers' websites, the ACMA said. The organization added that implementation of the TCP and CIS will result in consumers being more easily able to compare the features and costs of competing products.

The ACMA said several prepaid phone card providers in Australia have already complied with the CIS and posted TCPs on their websites. end of article

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