Understanding your landline contract | ACMA

Understanding your landline contract

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Before you sign up for a product or enter into a landline contract, it’s important that you know your rights. These are usually set out in the terms and conditions of the product or service, accessed in either written contract form, explained verbally or set out in the product labeling.

What do I have the right to know?

The Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code) sets minimum standards for informing customers about the terms and conditions of their telecommunications products and services.

As part of this code, service providers must:

  • give customers important information about their services and products
  • advertise and sell their products and services in a way that clearly explains what is being offered.

This helps protect you against misleading or deceptive conduct—allowing you to make informed purchasing decisions. 

Some reseller providers may require new customers to waive their rights under the Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) Standard. This standard sets out minimum time frames for connecting and fixing standard telephone services.

Before you accept a cheaper service under the CSG standard—make sure you understand possible implications of waiving your rights.

Fees and charges

A service provider is also required to inform you of any fees and charges associated with a ‘free’ offer.

When a service provider advertises landline services they must disclose:

  • the minimum length of the contract
  • connection fees
  • monthly access fees
  • call charge rates
  • any minimum monthly charges associated with the package.

Service providers must also have a range of consumer information accessible on their website.

This includes the terms and conditions of their products and services, product summaries and spend management tools. A range of other information must also be available including about, billing, and complaints-handling processes.

Accepting certain conditions

Sometimes, following a credit assessment, a service provider may offer you a telecommunications product or service only under certain conditions.

These may include you providing a guarantor, a security deposit or agreeing to a restriction on the use of the telecommunications product or service.

The service provider must give reasons for its decision and, if applicable, how a restriction can be removed.

For more information, see our provider conditions on telecoms services page. 

Changing a product or service

Changes to a product or service must be made in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the original contract. This includes:

  • varying the contract
  • early termination of the contract
  • the return of a product within a specified period
  • incurring a specified amount of call charges in order to pay the minimum amount due under a contract.

Changing service providers

Before you cancel your contract or change service providers, familiarise yourself with any early termination fees.

The structure of these fees can vary greatly, with some based on a fixed fee approach while others based on duration left on your contract.

Last updated: 03 March 2019