Media Releases

ACCAN's work informs public debate about consumer issues in the communications landscape.  Welcome to our collection of the latest news and current affairs that impact communications consumers. 

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Peak consumer group ACCAN says it is pleased with the announcement by Telstra today that it intends to waive a $2.93 monthly silent line fee for people who are under a protection order or at risk of violence.

The 2013 Round of the ACCAN Grants Scheme opens today with $265,000 available for organisations, or individuals who apply for funding before 2nd April.

The ACCAN Grants Scheme funds projects that help to work towards the organisation's vision of available, accessible and affordable communications services for all Australians. 

Peak telecommunications consumer group ACCAN says the announcement made by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy today regarding the National Relay Service (NRS) will save lives through a new service that will enable Deaf, hearing impaired and speech impaired Australians to contact emergency services via SMS.

New research by leading telecommunications analyst firm Market Clarity has found nearly 29% of small businesses owners are suffering the same customer service and complaint-handling problems experienced by general consumers, even though the vast majority are paying for business-grade services.

Telecommunications consumer group ACCAN is today revealing the best and worst pre-paid calling cards to use to phone friends and family overseas this Christmas after a mystery shopping test it conducted found significant problems with 40% of cards.

More than 60 disability and consumer advocacy organisations and thousands of individuals nationwide have supported the campaign for a permanent audio description service on television.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has just concluded the first-ever Australian trial of a television audio description service, which ran for 13 weeks on ABC1.

Peak consumer group ACCAN says annual report data released by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) today shows the number of customers who have gone to the TIO about an unexpectedly high bill has doubled over the past year.

Peak consumer body ACCAN says consumers trying to avoid high global roaming fees by buying a cheap travel SIM card at home or local SIM at their overseas destination are being hampered by the high cost of unlocking handsets.

Handset locking allows service providers to lock a mobile phone handset so it can only be used on their network. This is also known as network locking or device locking and is common practice in Australia. In order for consumers to use another SIM card while travelling, they must first unlock their handset.  

Australian blindness and consumer organisations have today launched a national campaign to promote the importance of audio description currently being trialled on ABC TV, and appeal to Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy and ABC Managing Director Mark Scott to make the service permanent.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) today launched a new guide for consumers that explains their rights in relation to mobile phone, landline, internet and pay TV services.

The guide, Making the Right Call, summarises in plain language what rights customers have under the newly registered Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code and other laws, regulations and industry codes.

“This guide is essential for phone and internet customers in Australia, because it explains your rights in simple terms, including what to look for when signing up for services. It also has tips on what you can expect once you’ve signed up for a service and what you should do if something goes wrong,” said ACCAN Chief Executive Officer Teresa Corbin.

Peak telecommunications consumer body ACCAN says its new research confirms the majority of Australians now see their mobile phone as their number one communications device (58%), while fixed line phones dwindle at 29%. The research highlighted a generational gap, with younger people vastly preferring mobiles (77%), while more than half of people aged 55 and over saying their fixed line is their main service.

The first annual ACCAN National Consumer Perceptions Survey, which is being presented at the ACCAN 2012 National Conference being held in Sydney today (Weds), also revealed that many Australians are reluctant to switch providers, with almost a third of respondents saying they had never switched telecommunications providers. Almost half had been with their provider for five years or more. 

Peak communications consumer body ACCAN has welcomed the announcement by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy that consumers will soon receive SMS alerts about global roaming costs when they travel overseas.