Telstra fined $1.5m for not letting customers keep their mobile numbers

| 04.05,21. 10:23 AM |

Telstra fined $1.5m for not letting customers keep their mobile numbers

Telstra said the shortfall was down to the impact of COVID on its overseas operations.(AAP: Joel Carrett, file photo)

Telstra has copped a fine of more than $1.5 million for not letting consumers keep their existing phone numbers as they tried to switch to another mobile network.

Between March and July 2020, the telco suspended most of its local number porting operations, saying the decision was due to the impact of COVID-19 on its "offshore operations".

In total, 42,000 customer accounts were either unable to move to another telco, or switch to Telstra, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the regulator that issued the penalty.

In a statement on Tuesday, ACMA said Telstra had "unilaterally cancelled transfer requests that were scheduled to occur and stopped accepting new requests".

"This was done without prior warning to other telcos, which were left not being able to help new and existing customers to transfer their service, while keeping their phone number."

It also said Telstra did not fully resume porting operations until July 2020, and did not clear the backlog of requests until October 2020.

"We appreciate Telstra had difficulties due to COVID-19 and we took this into account in our enforcement actions, including the size of the financial penalty," said ACMA chair Nerida O'Loughlin

"However, it is clear Telstra, for a sustained period, did not have sufficient plans in place to comply with an important consumer safeguard that promotes competition in the telco market."

The regulator has also given Telstra a formal direction to comply with the Local Number Portability Industry Code, which attracts a $250,000 fine for each contravention.


(Votes: 0)

Other News

Victorian childcare centres shut down and sanctioned over serious safety breaches Gold Coast boy dies after life support turned off Young teen dies in Brisbane dirt bike race Irate driver's note over line-nudging Tesla car park sparks debate in Sydney Gippsland fisherman faces off with tiger snake in tinny anchored far from shore Sydney wakes to smoke and fog All Australians over 50 are eligible for the AstraZeneca shot today. Here's what you should do if that's you India COVID travel ban to Australia begins today with jail and fines for those who breach it One in three think federal government should do more to bring overseas Australians back home: Lowy poll The Federal Budget has benefited from Australia's 'world class' defence against the coronavirus Government reveals $1.7b Budget pledge to slash childcare costs, Labor hits out at 'missed opportunity' Suspended driver arrested in Adelaide driving 'homemade' convertible Woman pinned under car for 90 minutes after being dragged 100 metres in Sydney's south New Zealand travel bubble with WA 'immediately paused' after three new COVID-19 cases in Perth Man charged with running red light, dangerous driving over deadly bus crash in Parramatta's CBD Labor leader Rebecca White concedes defeat in Tasmanian election: 'I rang Peter Gutwein to congratulate him on his re-election' Online safety warning as Far North Queensland man charged with child grooming Driver charged after young SA woman hit by car dies Australians who fly home from India during COVID-19 ban risk jail, hefty fines Tough new COVID-19 rule for Queenslanders who visit other states Pope Francis Announces New Boundaries for the Maronite Eparchy of Australia Dramatic moment two trucks collide caught on camera in WA 'Unexpected' wastewater results spark COVID-19 test request Parliament House staffer sacked over desk masturbation scandal makes report to police Brisbane Airport 'unreservedly apologises' for international arrivals COVID-19 breach Melbourne woman sexually assaulted on Brunswick road speaks about 'brazen' attack Perth air quality second worst in world today Man, 55, dies after receiving COVID-19 vaccine, no link established Man seriously injured in Adelaide 'targeted' hit-run Truck freed from Brisbane railway bridge following early morning traffic chaos