Premium mobile services need scrutiny: Coonan

Consumers need to know what they pay for

IT Minister Senator Helen Coonan announced that she will work with industry to better protect and inform consumers about mobile telephone premium service offerings, like ring tones and video clips.

During her keynote address at this year's Australian Mobile Telephone Association conference today, Coonan said while there are many service providers that are doing the right thing by consumers, "it would appear that there are some that could pull their socks up".

"I recognize that there are some consumers, particularly young people, who are still getting into difficulties regarding their use of mobile premium services," she said.

Coonan will take an active role in the review of the Mobile Premium Services Industry Scheme, to ensure it is addressing the concerns of the wider community, and will soon write to both the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Communications Alliance.

"Whilst industry is to be congratulated for the measures it has taken to date, I am keen to work with industry to ensure that all consumers fully informed of their rights and know what they are signing up for when they request a premium service," she said.

In 2004, the federal government directed the ACMA to develop controls on access to content supplied via mobile phones, whether that content was supplied as a premium rate service or on proprietary content portals.

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Rodney Gedda

Computerworld

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