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Communications Alliance, the communications industry peak body, is proposing to deregister and repeal the Call Charging and Billing Accuracy Code (C518). This Code sets out requirements for providers to test the accuracy of their call charging and billing for the standard telephone service (STS).

ACCAN believes the Code contains important detailed provisions to support accurate billing, such as requiring providers to develop and implement a test plan; to use performance indicators for accuracy testing; and compliance reporting requirements. In our submission, we acknowledge that the Code may have declining applicability, but argue that its principles are still relevant. It is important that consumers have confidence that their billing is correct, and reflects actual usage.

Complaints data from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) illustrates that billing for communications services is a significant consumer issue, with 41.9% of the 2016-17 financial year complaints relating to billing and payments.

ACCAN sees a compelling need to address this issue, and to retain and update the Code, rather than allow it to be deregistered. Further, ACCAN proposes that the scope of the Code should be widened to cover other essential communications services such as SMS and data, and to cover fixed and mobile services beyond those that are circuit switched.

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