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Consumers beware of fixed to mobile rates.



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MEDIA RELEASE

LINDSAY TANNER MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

CONSUMERS BEWARE OF FIXED TO MOBILE RATES

Australian consumers should be alert to high charges for fixed to mobile call rates. A report released today suggests that Australians are paying up to $750 million too much for calls from their home phones to mobile phones.

Many Australian consumers are concerned by the high costs they can incur simply by phoning a friend down the road on a mobile phone for a few minutes.

Australian consumer groups and telecommunications companies have today called for a reduction in Australian fixed to mobile rates. This follows the initiation of an inquiry by the ACCC into mobile phone pricing and fixed to mobile costs.

Until appropriate action is taken on this issue, consumers should carefully analyse their home phone bills for fixed to mobile call costs. They should minimise their fixed to mobile calls where necessary to avoid amassing large home phone telephone bills.

Australian home telephone consumers are facing higher bills through the Howard Government’s massively increased telephone line rental costs, high fixed to mobile costs and the cancellation of Telstra’s 15c local neighbourhood call. The Howard Government is penalising ordinary home phone users and turning the telephone into a luxury item.

August 27, 2003

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner or Peter van Vliet on (03) 9347 5000 or 0408 188 055.