Revised Mobile Premium Services Code in Force from 1 June, 2012
Sydney, 31 May 2012 - Users of mobile premium services will receive stronger protections under the revised Communications Alliance Mobile Premium Services (MPS) Code that takes effect from 1 June.
The Code, recently registered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA), was developed by a Communications Alliance Working Committee and includes new obligations on providers to ensure a positive consumer experience throughout the MPS transaction.
Mobile Premium Services are information and entertainment services that are accessed by, and delivered to, a user’s mobile handset by way of an eight digit number starting with the prefix 191 – 199, commonly referred to as a ‘short code’. These services are created by a content supplier and delivered to the handset via a mobile service provider's network, and are typically charged at a premium rate.
Since the implementation of the original code in July 2009, complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) relating to mobile premium services have decreased by 90% from previous peak levels.
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, welcomed the revised Code, which would build on its predecessor and continue to demonstrate that strong, well-constructed industry Codes can material improve outcomes for consumers.
“The new code requires carriage service providers to report quarterly to the ACMA on their compliance monitoring activities and imposes additional obligations to ensure greater clarity in advertising, including online ads,” he said.
Other key improvements in the revised code include:
- streamlining of the Double Opt-in procedure which consolidates the opt-in process for non-mobile, WAP and IVR request mechanisms with the opt-in process for MO (Mobile Originating) requests to create a new single opt-in process;
- new requirements stipulating that specific information (STOP facility, inclusion of the term “subscribe/subscription” & content suppliers’ Helpline) be included in subscription messages;
- provision of chapter summaries and the simplification and clarification of terminology used in the Code, to make it more accessible and easier to understand; and
- new protections relating to the supply of Reverse Charge Billing Services, which had previously been exempted from the Code.
To complement the Code’s implementation, Communications Alliance has also published a Consumer Guide to the MPS Code. This brochure, targeted at everyday consumers of these services, sets out, in simple terms, the key protections and rights that consumers can expect under the Code. The MPS Code Consumer Guide also provides guidance on how these services typically function; how they are delivered to a consumer’s mobile handset; and how service related issues can be addressed.
The Consumer Guide to the MPS Code can be viewed here from the Communications Alliance website.
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.
Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.
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