Paying too much on your phone bill? ACCC agrees

THE ACCC has learned something many of us known for years - our mobile phone companies are ripping us off.

The national consumer watchdog reckons telcos are charging us too much when we make a phone call from one network to another.

This is called a "terminating service" charge.

The ACCC controls these charges in an attempt to ensure telcos are not making a profit on these services, because they should be recouping those costs by charging extra for the calls themselves.

Apparently that was not enough.

"The ACCC recently found that the prices mobile operators were charging each other to receive mobile calls and SMS messages were too high, which meant higher bills for consumers or reduced product offerings," ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

"The ACCC is now looking to determine how these services should be priced to promote competition in retail markets and benefit consumers."

"Competition has led to lower prices and greater choice for consumers for voice calls, and the ACCC expects that greater competition will similarly lower SMS prices."

The current "voice termination services" charge costs 3.6 cents per minute, something the ACCC is looking to change.

If you want to know more, here is a 39-page discussion paper on the topic.



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