Aussie Telcos To Battle Government Over Confusing Caps

Back in May, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) drafted a report that called for telcos to lift their game. Recommendations included ending advertising with misleading terms like cap or free, and notifying you when you've hit a certain amount of usage. The response submitted by the telcos was released this week, and included fun tidbits like "providing more information about telephone pricing and plans would only confuse consumers."

The industry says that Australian pricing works differently to the US and Britain, and that easily comparable "unit pricing" is too hard to do here. The ACMA disagrees, and points to that cool research and infographic from WhistleOut, see: Mobile Plans: How Much Data And Calls Do You Really Get?

In addition, apparently the telcos are all for giving you tools to monitor your spending limit yourself, but it's too hard for them to proactively send you text or email alerts. Pretty insulting, right?

The telco industry says it supports the ACMA draft, but wants its own self-regulatory code to address the concerns instead of government regulation. That code hasn't been released yet, but the ACMA says it expects the industry to adopt the reforms or it will regulate. The battle lines are being drawn.

The ACMA and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) will meet next week to discuss the issue further. [SMH]

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