10 June 2003 at 1:06 pm
Telephone and Internet users will be able to make better choices on appropriate services and be more informed on consumer safeguards following the launch of two new telecommunications Tool Kits.
The Australian Communication Authority’s (ACA’s) telephone and Internet Tool Kits offer free information packages – available in printed form, CD-ROM and through an interactive website – provide easy-to-use information on costs, services and consumer protection.
The ACA says the Kits will cut through the confusion that is commonly felt by consumers who are trying to select the best new telecommunications product or service to meet their needs.
The AACA says its 2002 Awareness and Information Needs Survey showed that many consumers feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available.
In addition, the Telecommunications Services (Besley) Inquiry identified a lack of effective consumer information in the market, while the Regional Telecommunications (Estens) Inquiry urged the provision of timely and unbiased information on mobile phones and Internet services to rural consumers.
The ACA says a previous Tool Kit on mobile phones, released in May last year, proved a boon for consumers. Almost all users (mainly teenagers and older Australians) polled by the ACA were satisfied that the information provided was easy to use and understand.
The Tool Kits do not recommend particular companies, prices or services; instead they identify the issues that consumers should consider in choosing telecommunications products and services to suit their unique requirements.
The ACA says it is important for consumers to understand the options available, and safeguards in place, when choosing telecommunications products and services.
For more information visit the Tool Kit website for an interactive experience at www.toolkit.aca.gov.au or contact the ACA on telephone 1800 35 11 35.