Feeds

Aussies stumped reading the phone bill

Calls? You charge me for calls?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Australia may enjoy some of the highest teledensity levels in the world, but the more calls made, the less the understanding of pricing and billing information, claims the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

New research from ACMA reveals that the vast majority of Australian telephone consumers have a “patchy understanding” of how their services are charged.

The research also hints at why Australians might be willing to sacrifice landlines for mobile services: the bundling of free call allowances leaves users with less to misunderstand.

ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman said that the rise in mobile phone use as a primary communication service (now at 47 percent vs landlines at 33 percent) and the increase in bundled plans have contributed to consumer confusion.

“Both of these trends are major factors contributing to a decline in consumers’ understanding of the price and location information embedded in traditional fixed telephone numbers, meaning that embedding this information may no longer be an effective mechanism to fulfil consumer protection needs,” Chapman said.

Also of concern is consumers’ understanding of less frequently called numbers such as 13/1300 and 1800 numbers. “It seems these are confusing for many Australians compared to more frequently called numbers like mobile and local numbers,” he said.

The research found that one in five Australians was either unable to define a local call from a landline or their explanation was incorrect.

The findings are analysed in the ACMA’s fourth consultation paper in its numbering work program, Numbering: Implications of research into consumer issues. ACMA is seeking feedback on the implications of these findings, including how regulatory arrangements might be adjusted over time to reflect and facilitate changes in consumer communication use including whether telephone numbers remain the most effective strategy for providing price information.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.