What the ACCC does

  • We help to keep mobile phone services competitive.
  • We work with stakeholders to improve mobile service coverage.
  • We accept reports where people consider a business is doing something they shouldn’t do. We use those reports to inform our education, compliance and enforcement work.

What the ACCC can't do

On this page

Consumer rights for mobile phone services

If a product or service you buy fails to meet a consumer guarantee, you have the right to ask for a repair, replacement, refund or cancel 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, refund or cancel rights.

Helping to make mobile phone services competitive for consumers

The ACCC is responsible for the regulation of the telecommunications sector under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The aim of access provisions in the Act is to ensure that consumers can:

  • connect with different networks
  • benefit from competition in the market.

See Mobile services regulation for more information about our role.

Billing and financial hardship

There is an industry code of conduct that is designed to ensure good service and fair outcomes for consumers of telecommunications services.

The Telecommunications Consumer Protections 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.

The Telecommunications (Financial Hardship) Industry Standard 2024 also places obligations on telecommunication service providers around assisting customers that are experiencing financial hardship.

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. They are required to have policies to assist consumers experiencing financial hardship.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which oversees telecommunications codes and standards, has more information to help if you can’t pay your bill.

Our work on improving coverage

The ACCC held a mobile issues forum with several regional, consumer and government stakeholders in 2018. The forum examined issues such as the lack of accurate and reliable mobile coverage information.

Following the forum, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone Hutchison Australia agreed to work together to improve the comparability of their mobile coverage maps. As a start, they’ve agreed to use consistent terminology when describing indoor coverage, outdoor coverage and external antenna. The project is ongoing.

For more information about the ACCC’s work on regional mobile issues see Industry engagement on implementing proposed measures.

Reporting a problem about your mobile phone service

Contact your mobile phone provider first

If you have a problem with any aspect of your mobile phone service, you should contact 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.

Making a complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

If you cannot resolve a problem with your provider, make a complaint through the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman website or phone 1800 062 058. The Ombudsman may be able to help you to resolve the dispute with your provider.

Avoid mobile phone scams

Recognise, avoid and report mobile phone scams by visiting the Scamwatch website.

Report a problem about your mobile service provider to the ACCC

You can also report a problem about your mobile service provider to the ACCC. We may investigate providers that repeatedly break the rules.

Make a report to the ACCC

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