Mr145-10: Acma Directs Premium Sms Providers To Comply With Code

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9th November 2010, 11:26am - Views: 1115





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ACMA Media

Release

145 /2010



Page 1 of 1

9

November 2010


ACMA directs premium SMS providers to comply

with code


The Australian Communications and Media Authority has directed mobile premium

service providers AO Australia Online Pty Ltd (Australia Online) and Network Nine

Australia Pty Ltd (Nine) to comply with industry rules or face hefty penalties in the

Federal Court, after it found both companies breached the Mobile Premium

Services Code (the code).

The ACMA found that Nine breached the code by failing to advise of a helpline in

advertising two premium SMS competitions, Keno Million Dollar Comp and

Moccona Competition. 

‘The ACMA’s research shows that premium SMS competitions are popular with

consumers, and the code requires that consumers be given information about who

to contact if they have questions about a service,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris

Chapman.

Australia Online breached numerous provisions of the code, including failing to

advertise the correct price and failing to state that the service was a subscription

service. ‘Providing clear and accurate information about the price, terms and

conditions of a service is fundamental to doing business,’ said Mr Chapman. ‘The

ACMA will continue to pursue service providers who are not upfront with consumers

about costs.’

Complaints about premium SMS fell 90 per cent between September 2008 and

September 2010, due to the code and other regulations put in place by the ACMA.

While a direction to comply is the strongest action available to the ACMA in

response to a breach of the code, the ACMA may request the Federal Court to

impose penalties of up to $250,000 if a direction to comply is contravened. 

From 3 November 2010, if a premium SMS provider does not comply with the code

and causes significant detriment to consumers as a result, the ACMA also will be

able to direct mobile phone companies to not charge consumers for the service in

question.

The report of the ACMA’s investigations and the formal directions to comply are

available from the ACMA website.

Information for consumers about mobile premium services is also available from the

ACMA website.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Donald

Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980, 0418 86 1766 or

media@acma.gov.au.


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ACMA Media Release

145 /2010



Page 2 of 2


The ACMA is Australia’s regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and

telecommunications. The ACMA’s strategic intent is to make communications and media work in



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