TCP Code Complaince: ISP's beware

25 02 2009

The Australian Communications and Media Authority ACMA last week announced that it had assessed 44 carriage service providers, and issued formal directions to 2 providers for non-compliance with the financial hardship requirements of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code).

Chapter 7 of the TCP Code deals with Credit Management, and among other things sets out obligations on how CSPs and Carriers must conduct themselves throughout the credit management process, including in cases of financial hardship.

Clause 7.5.1 states:

7.5.1 Financial Hardship policy: A Supplier must have a Financial Hardship policy that:

(a) provides for training of staff who will be applying the policy;

(b) is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the circumstances of individual Customers;

(c) ensures that a Customer can contact appropriate employees of the Supplier if experiencing Financial Hardship; and

(d) includes options for managing a Customer’s Financial Hardship.

The ACMA’s formal direction to compel the 2 CSPs  in question, to prepare a compliant Hardship Policy, once again underlines the importance of implementing a proper code compliance program, to maintain compliance, before the ACMA is forced to take action. Failure to comply with the formal direction, would result in Federal Court action by the ACMA to compel the CSPs in question.

Unfortunately, many ISPs are not proactive in ensuring compliance, and it is only when the ACMA comes knocking that they realise. This is something that we can assist you to overcome.

We have prepared scores of compliant policies, if you are a CSP who doesn’t comply, give us a call, we can help!

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