IMR Standard reduces bill shock but complaints rise
A review of the International Mobile Roaming Standard (IMR Standard) has just been completed by the ACMA.
This standard was initially introduced in 2013 as a way of addressing consumer ‘bill shock’ from unexpectedly high international mobile roaming charges.
The review found that the IMR Standard has been effective in reducing bill shock, with the number of complaints about IMR falling significantly.
However, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) data indicates complaints about IMR services have risen in recent years.
While complaint numbers are still relatively low, the charges in dispute can be high, indicating that risks to consumers remain.
The review identified that there was a need to retain IMR regulation, but there were areas that could be improved to make regulation more flexible in light of changes to mobile phone use overseas. For example, the review concluded that it would be appropriate to allow providers flexibility in the wording used to advise consumers about maximum charges for IMR services, and how the information is delivered.
The review also concluded that mobile network operators and mobile virtual network operators (mobile resellers) should continue to provide information to consumers on their arrival in another country. The full report can be found on the ACMA consultation page.
The Minister has also agreed to an ACMA proposal to change the form of regulation from an industry standard to a service provider determination with a similar but more flexible set of rules. The change would allow the ACMA to more easily update the instrument.
The ACMA anticipates releasing a draft service provider determination for public consultation within the next few months.
Originally published here.
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