Consumer rights for landline & internet services

Consumers have rights when they buy any product or service, including landline phone and internet services. Shop around for a service that fits your needs and budget and know your rights if you have a problem.

Your consumer rights

If there is a problem with your handset, you may be entitled to a repair, replacement or refund.

If there is a problem with your service, you may be entitled to cancel it. You may also be entitled to compensation for damages and loss.

Internet and phone providers must provide:

  • clear and accurate information in advertising, contracts and bills
  • help if you’re having problems paying bills and should take steps before disconnecting your service
  • good service and deal quickly with complaints
  • a repair, replacement, refund, compensation or cancellation if the phone or service fails to meet one or more of the consumer guarantees.

Phone providers must also ensure people who are hearing impaired or cannot communicate using voice have access to a fixed line service.

Industry code of conduct

An industry code of conduct was designed to ensure good service and fair outcomes for consumers of telecommunications services. The Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code sets out expectations of industry behaviour in relation to matters such as providing information to consumers, advertising, billing, credit management and complaint handling.

Additional consumer protections

The TCP Code gives you rights to clear information and help if you’re struggling with bills.

The Customer Service Guarantee is a regulation that requires landline phone service providers to meet timelines for connections, fault repairs and meetings with customers and pay compensation if they fail to meet those deadlines. This guarantee does not apply to mobile or internet services.

More information about how the law protects telecommunications customers is available at the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) website.

Your right to a telephone service

Telstra is required to ensure that standard telephone services are reasonably accessible to all people in Australia on an equitable basis, wherever they are. This means you have rights to a telephone service even if you live in a remote part of Australia. This is known as the universal service obligation (USO).

Information on the USO is available from the Department of Communications and the Arts and Telstra.

If it’s not right, use your rights

  • Make a complaint.
  • If you cannot resolve a problem with your provider, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) on 1800 062 058 or through the TIO website.

More information

Consumer rights & guarantees