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New economy failing consumers.



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New Economy Failing Consumers Lindsay Tanner - Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs

Media Statement - 20 September 2000

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Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Lindsay Tanner, today called for greater consumer protection in the new economy.

"There is growing evidence that consumers are being ripped-off in many areas of the new economy. Telecommunications and Internet companies are making easy money at the expense of consumers because of inadequate consumer protection measures," Mr Tanner said.

Mr Tanner cited the following areas of consumer concern:

Further delays in the implementation of mobile phone number portability, meaning consumers cannot take advantage of cheaper deals from other providers because the cost of losing your number by transferring outweighs any benefits.

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The continued refusal of banks to disclose up-front transaction fees on foreign automatic teller machines (ATMs). ●

The large number of complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about Internet and Mobile Phone contracts, which are often concerned with the poor disclosure of contract terms and conditions.

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The Consumers Telecommunications Network stating recently that "the telecommunications self regulatory arrangements appear meaningless", and that the Government's implementation of telecommunications consumer codes was "disappointing".

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Evidence of consumer problems with telephone transfers between domestic telephone service providers, leading to consumer hassles and competition disincentives. ●

"The Labor Party has committed to stronger new economy consumer protection measures in our new national platform, with specific policies like cooling off periods for Internet and mobile phone contracts.

"If the Government wants to get serious about promoting the new information economy it should start by making the new information economy consumer friendly," Mr Tanner said.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.