Australian Regulator Reviews Rules for Mobile Premium Services

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­The Australian Communications and Media Authority has announced that it is reviewing the effectiveness of rules protecting premium SMS and MMS customers from rogue operators.

The rules are contained in two service provider determinations: Premium SMS/MMS Barring, which aims to protect consumers from unexpectedly high bills, and Do not Bill/Do not Contract provisions that give the ACMA appropriate regulatory options to address problems.

“Consumers can pay for an increasing range of products and services using premium SMS and MMS,” said ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman. “The ACMA therefore wants to ensure that the rules for these services are working for consumers and the mobile premium services (MPS) industry.”

The ACMA’s Barring Determination, effective from 1 July 2010, requires mobile carriage service providers to provide customers with the option to bar premium SMS and MMS.

The Do Not Contract/Do Not Bill Determination, in place from 5 August 2010, prohibits mobile carriage service providers from contracting with content providers not included on an industry register. It also gives the ACMA the power to direct a mobile carriage service provider not to bill for a MPS found to cause significant financial harm to consumers.

Closing date for submissions to the new consultation paper is 22nd December 2011.

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