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Welcome to the latest current affairs that impact communications consumers. 

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Video Relay on the NRS is experiencing longer wait times, due to staff shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other NRS call channels may also experience longer wait times.

Where do I go for help?                                           

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Call centres for Telstra, Vodafone, Optus, ALDI Mobile, and some other telcos have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. This means that there is likely to be extended wait times if you contact their customer support teams via phone or instant chat.

TPG has closed their call centre support so you will need to contact them through the online chat support.

ALDI Mobile have also closed their call centre and are working at a reduced capacity. They have advised it may take over 48 hours to respond to requests for support'. More inforatmion about their supports available are available on their blog.

Telcos have asked customers to use self-service channels (such as the My Optus app, the Telstra 24x7 app, or MyVodafone) to trouble-shoot their issues where possible.

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Each telco has their own assistance packages available for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These can include financial assistance, free phone calls, and free additional data.

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Illutration showing communication of Telco response to COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing social distancing and self-isolation efforts have resulted in millions of Australians increasingly relying on their phone and home broadband services.

Unfortunately, some Australians are at risk of being left behind because they are unable to afford a home broadband service. As this becomes the main way that people can study, work, and access telehealth services from home – this is simply not acceptable. ACCAN is calling for affordable home broadband to be prioritised now.

A coalition of nearly 30 community sector organisations and advocates has urged the Federal Government to address the affordability of communications services and equipment to support Australians in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Sector Organisations Call on Government to Act on Communications Affordability Issues

Find out more on
#NoAustralianLeftOffline

To help communications consumers understand the latest updates from the telco sector and how consumers may be affected, ACCAN will updating our live blogs with new developments as they occur.

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For World Consumer Rights Day 2020, ACCAN looks at how consumers can do their part to promote sustainability in the telco sector.

Sustainability is an evolving issue for industries around the world. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the way that we produce and consume goods and services, including in the telco sector.

Nearly 90% of Australians now own a mobile phone1. For many of us, they have become the go-to device to keep in touch socially and for work, to take photos, and to navigate from place to place. As mobile phones continue to evolve to include features like foldable screens and multi-lens cameras, it’s worth taking a moment to consider what resources go into making these smart devices.

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As bushfires continue to burn across the country, a reliable phone service quickly becomes a lifeline.

ACCAN is aware of reports of network outages due to blackouts and power failures in bushfire affected areas. It’s important to know that unless you have a battery back-up, your NBN home phone will not work during a power outage. As a precaution, it is best to have a charged mobile phone that you can use during a power outage.

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Brick building with EMERGENCY sign

When disaster strikes, you want to be able to call for help. As Australia makes the switch to the NBN, it’s important to know that traditional methods of connecting to emergency services may not work.

In the event of a power outage, phone and internet services provided over the NBN network will not work. This will also affect any medical alarms or security alarms that you may have which connect through the NBN.

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Image shows a rectangluar present with Merry Christmas printed across the wrapping paper. It has a red bow on the top left hand corner.As we head into the festive season, many of us will be thinking about what new gadget we’d like to find under the Christmas tree or snap up in the Boxing Day sales. With the telcos stepping up their advertising around 5G, many people have started to look into purchasing 5G phones and home broadband plans. If you’re keen to be one of these early-adopters, don’t sign on the dotted line before you’ve read our tips below.

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 glenn carstens peters EOQhsfFBhRk unsplashACCAN welcomes the Government’s recent announcement that it will provide a total of $4 Million in funding to the national broadcasters, ABC and SBS, to introduce audio described broadcast content in the 2020/21 financial year. ACCAN, along with Australia’s blindness sector and consumer groups have been advocating for the introduction of audio description across free-to-air television for many years.

Audio description is a verbal narration of visual elements of programming. The narration coincides with the program’s audio track with the description interspersed between dialogue.

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