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Telcoinabox takes aim at ACMA on new telco consumer code

ACMA has come under scrutiny on its new Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code with Telcoinabox CEO, Damian Kay, saying it treats consumers like idiots and adds unnecessary compliance burden on smaller resellers.

"One of the first things consumers do is compare price before making a formal decision on their telecommunications provider," Telcoinabox CEO, Damian Kay, said. "Consumers are not idiots they do not need a Code to tell them to do what they already do. "I think we're going down a nanny state path by treating the consumer like this." Kay said the TCP code stamps out competition because the requirement on small resellers was unrealistic and added another barrier for new entrants to the market.

Kay referred to the initial front end charges to comply with the new code, which includes legal, billing systems, marketing and customer notifications costing up to $50,000 and then about $10,000 for every year afterwards. "In addition, it binds them up in more red tape taking away their time from servicing their customers and marketing for new ones," he said. "For a wholesale aggregator like us, we have size and scale and can provide the guidance, service and templates to comply with the TCP code. But what does the small reseller do?"

Kay highlighted the recent Kogan fiasco has unfortunately given the newly introduced TCP code credence when it wasn't needed.

Kogan has been embroiled in a court battle with ISPOne, claiming wholesale agreements were breached after 600 Kogan Mobile customers were suspended for using too much data or making too many phone calls.

ISPOne hit back saying Kogan engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct through claiming the mobile phone plans were unlimited.

Telcoinabox does provide TCP Code services to enable retail service providers to manage their compliance burden.

It provides guidance and materials, such as training and regular updates to identify key regulatory issues for resellers, including the TCP Code; templates and suggested operating procedures which RSPs can use as the base for their own compliance programs; website design and a range of product collateral providing assistance with the compulsory disclosure required by the TCP Code; billing and CRM systems which are updated to comply with regulatory requirements as they are known and discounted purchase arrangements for third party specialist suppliers (such as regulatory advisers) to advise RSPs as needed.

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