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‘Commerce Commission Directs Telco Industry To Create Marketing Code To Reduce Consumer Confusion’

New marketing code to combat telco ‘confusopoly’ “a step in the right direction” according to consumer body

The Commerce Commission has instructed the telecommunications industry to develop a marketing code that ensures consumers receive all the information they need from telco providers to make informed choices about the technology options and plans that best suit their needs.

The decision by the Commission comes after a lengthy consultation with individual consumers and industry bodies, including TUANZ, which highlighted the use of deliberate confusion to onboard new, uninformed, and unsuspecting customers.

TUANZ CEO Craig Young says, “we are pleased to see the Commission provide comprehensive guidelines that they expect to be implemented by the industry in a short manner. We call on the industry to step up and meet the timeframes that are stated in the letter sent directly to the telecommunications forum, including the voluntary compliance by providers within the next 20 days.”

We have been deeply concerned about the tactics being used by retail service providers. Copper migration is being used as an excuse to move unsuspecting consumers to preferred services without their express consent, or the information they need to make an informed decision about the alternatives.”

Telcos are notorious for using confusion to avoid competing on price, and the practice has a long history in New Zealand. According to Young, “the current product disclosure regime has serious weaknesses, so it is pleasing to see the Commission outlining new requirements around understanding, and clarity of the service performance of alternatives to their current service.”

 

WHO IS TUANZ?

The association for the users of digital technology and connectivity.

We are the voice of our members and all users in a complex digital world. We know that connectivity is key to digital business and force for social good and we are here to help our members make sense of the digital future.

TUANZ has over thirty years of bringing the users of ICT into the debate about the future of the digital economy. Much of what we take for granted today around choice of service comes from the work we, with our members, have done and continue to do.

We are a powerful channel to decision makers and developing leaders in this sector.

We have a highly engaged community of over 1,400 individuals working in our member organisations in roles that use or are responsible for digital technology.

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