Tougher regulation needed for phone companies

Consumer groups are lobbying for tougher regulation of the telecommunications industry. They believe self-regulation has failed and consumers’ interests are being ignored.

Four consumer groups have boycotted the Australian Communications Industry Forum and are pushing the Federal Government for stronger consumer protection.

The group has pointed out the failure of mobile carriers to provide copies of contracts and the promotion of “free” phones and “unlimited internet access”. The group wants the phone companies to provide adequate disclosure to their customers.

A spokesperson for the Consumers’ Telecommunications Network, one of the four boycotting consumer groups, believes the industry has not sufficiently valued the opinions of the consumer representatives at the forum meetings. The group will draft the reforms they believe are needed to better protect consumers and put them to the Federal Government.

The Age online, 4/12/01

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