Memo to telcos: TCP Code applies to small business customers

The Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code probably isn’t a very good name for the new law.  It makes it sound like it only applies to B2C telco contracts.  In fact, almost the whole of the TCP Code applies to many B2B contracts as well.

The TCP Code treats a business as a ‘consumer’ if its annual spend with the telco is no more than $20k.  For businesses in that category, the whole of the Code applies with just a small number of exceptions.

What doesn’t apply to small business customers?  

The limited exceptions

There are only two exceptions:

  • The usage notifications (at 50/85/100% of entitlements) regime that comes into force in September 2013 and September 2014 only applies to ‘Residential Customers’.
  • The ‘no unfair contract terms’ rules only apply to ‘consumer contracts’ as defined by the Australian Consumer Law’.

That’s it.  Everything else in the TCP Code applies to small business customers just as much as to residential customers.

Don’t fall for the urban myth

TCP Code applies to small businessThere’s a myth with a fair amount of momentum that the TCP Code isn’t very significant for telcos that have small business customer bases.  We’ve even been assured that the Code doesn’t apply to these providers at all.  That’s just wrong.

About Peter Moon

A telco lawyer with a truckload of experience
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