Consumers have rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) when they buy any product or service, including a mobile phone service.
If a product or service you buy fails to meet a consumer guarantee, you have the right to ask for a repair, replacement or refund under the Australian Consumer Law. The remedy you're entitled to will depend on whether the issue is major or minor.
You can seek compensation for damages and loss you suffer due to a problem with a product or service if the supplier could have reasonably foreseen the problem. This is in addition to your repair, replacement or refund rights.
The 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 for industry to provide:
- clear and accurate information in advertising and contracts about what they are offering in their mobile phone plans
- fair billing and credit management processes
- effective and clear processes for complaints handling.
If you’re struggling to pay your bill on time due to financial difficulties, you can contact your mobile phone provider and ask about their financial hardship policy, which they are required to have under the TCP Code.
The financial hardship policy should provide clear information on the options available to you for managing any financial hardship relating to your mobile phone service (and other telecommunications services).
You can find out more about financial hardship policies and your options at the ACMA website.
If you have a problem with any aspect of your mobile phone service, you should make a complaint to your mobile phone provider first.
A complaint handling policy can be found on your provider’s website, which will explain how to lodge a complaint. Providers may have a dedicated phone number or email address for contacting them about complaints.