Fixing phones on time
The Australian Government has increased penalties for phone companies that do not fix telephones within a reasonable period of time.
Phone companies will have to compensate customers up to $50 per day for every day it takes to repair a telephone fault, or if they do not connect a telephone service within the Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) timeframes.
This is part of several measures undertaken by the government to toughen up the CSG a crucial consumer safeguard that was introduced by the Coalition in 1998 to ensure consumers get their phones connected and repaired on time.
The CSG penalties have been increased by 21 per cent and are paid directly to the affected customer. From now on, if someones telephone fault is not fixed within the CSG timeframes, they will be awarded a penalty fee.
While most faults are repaired within these timeframes, these changes provide incentives for service providers to improve their performance, and give consumers a more appropriate level of compensation if they fail to do so.
Satellite phones scheme extended
The Australian Government has extended the Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme until June 2009.
The governments Satellite Phone Subsidy scheme has been highly successful in making mobile communications more affordable for people living in remote parts of Australia.
People who live or operate a business in an area without terrestrial mobile coverage may be eligible for up to $900 off the purchase price of a satellite phone. Guidelines, instructions and application forms for the scheme are now available from phone dealers, by visiting www.dcita.gov.au/satphone or by calling 1800 674 058.
Understanding Money campaign
The Australian Government has launched an important campaign aimed at encouraging Australians to take charge of their money.
The Understanding Money campaign is part of the Coalitions commitment to help Australians increase their financial knowledge and better manage their money. The television, radio and newspaper campaign will be supported by an Understanding Money website and booklet.
Having a good understanding of money allows us to save, and make better spending and investment decisions. If youd like to know more, you can order the Understanding Money handbook by calling 1800 236 235 or go to www.australia.gov.au/understandingmoney.
Hearing Awareness Week is coming
I am encouraging people to visit their nearest Australian Hearing centre for a free hearing screening in August.
Hearing Awareness Week runs from August 20-26 and is an important opportunity to remind the community to have their hearing checked as part of their medical routine.
We are constantly exposing ourselves to noise that could have a damaging affect on our hearing. Everyday things like lawn mowers, leaf-blowers, power tools, and vacuum cleaners can emit noise levels hazardous to our hearing.
Australian Hearing, an Australian Government agency, is the nations largest provider of hearing services. As well as having a free hearing check it is an opportunity to see what products and services are offered; discuss hearing issues with specialists; and see if you are eligible for free services.
Australian Hearing in Lismore is located on the corner of Conway and Molesworth streets. They can be contacted on 131 797 about the free tests.
Phone: 6621 9909
Fax: 6621 9959
Address: PO Box 1119, Lismore, 2480
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