ACMA slams Optus for not barring premium services

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Technical issues which prevented Optus from complying with its legal duty to offer customers the option of barring premium SMS and MMS services will be resolved by 11 October 2010.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Optus to address the non-compliance of ACMA’s Barring Determination, which came into effect almost two months ago.

The Barring Determination requires carriers to provide customers with the option to bar premium SMS and MMS.

While Optus sorts out technical issues customers can pre-register for premium SMS barring now, and barring will be automatically activated when the system is implemented in October.

Meanwhile, under the ACMA undertaking Optus has agreed to establish a team of staff with authority to deal with and resolve complaints about premium SMS and MMS.

According to ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, the Barring Determination was introduced to address consumer concerns about unexpected high costs.

“The ACMA regards compliance with the Barring Determination as a very serious matter,” said Chapman.

If Optus breaches the enforceable undertaking it could be ordered by the Federal Court to compensate persons who have suffered loss or damage as a result of the breach.

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