The Australian government plans to grant more power to the industry regulator to combat soaring consumer complaints.
The government will amend the Telecommunications Act to allow the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), to take direct action without going through the courts, communications minister Stephen Conroy said yesterday.
"There is strong evidence that suggests consumers do not have confidence in their telecommunications service providers," Senator Conroy told an industry event.
Complaints submitted to the Telecom Industry Ombudsman last year nearly doubled to almost 150,000.
The biggest sources of complaints were over mobile premium numbers, fault handling and poor customer service.
Conroy said consumers were frustrated that the industry protection code did not offer enough protection from mobile premium number scams.
"For example, I am disappointed by reports that the code does not include "