Australia’s telecommunications industry regulator has called out telco services provider, iTalkBB Australia, over direct debit, complaints-handling and record-keeping rules breaches.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed on 10 November it had formally directed iTalkBB Australia to comply with the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code 2015.
The direction follows an investigation that found iTalkBB Australia had breached direct debit, complaints-handling and record-keeping rules in the TCP Code.
The rules under the code require telcos offering direct debit as a payment facility must obtain customer authorisation and comply with that authorisation.
“Customers must be given at least 10 working days to check their bill before the associated direct debit transaction takes place. Telcos must also document and make available their complaints-handling processes,” the ACMA said in a statement.
According to the regulator, iTalkBB Australia failed to give customers 10 working days to check their bill on 43 occasions and did not obtain correct direct debit authorisations from two customers.
It also failed to keep records for three complainants and did not document or make available its complaints-handling process, the ACMA said.
“Customers should have confidence that their telco will abide by rules designed to protect consumers,” ACMA chair, Nerida O’Loughlin, said.
‘This direction sends a strong message to iTalkBB Australia that it is time it took code compliance far more seriously to deliver better outcomes for its customers.’
This is the second time in less than three years the ACMA has taken enforcement action against iTalkBB Australia for breaches of the TCP Code.
The ACMA can commence proceedings in the Federal Court seeking a pecuniary penalty from a provider that breaches a formal direction.