An official investigation has been commissioned by the government’s Treasury.
The Treasury of the Australian government has now launched an official mobile commerce inquiry into smartphone applications.
David Bradbury, the assistant treasurer for the country is asking for the public’s help.
As a part of this investigation, Bradbury is asking smartphone users to come forward and name some of the apps that they have used and that have brought about discontent.
The purpose of the mobile commerce inquiry is to determine whether or not consumers are being adequately informed.
This will specifically focus on the information that smartphone using consumers are given regarding the costs that are associated with the apps both before and after the download has been made. The public will be able to continue submitting the names of the apps that have made them unhappy, until January of next year.
Bradbury released a mobile commerce news statement that said that “In a very short period of time, new mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have changed the way consumers engage in commerce.” He went on to say that “At the same time though, some consumers have raised concerns about aspects of mobile commerce, particularly where purchases can be made without much difficulty using stored credit card data.”
The assistant treasurer expressed particular concern regarding apps that are marketed toward children and that encourage them to make purchases of virtual subscriptions and goods. He explained that there are many powerful consumer laws within the country that are designed to protect consumer rights. They are also meant to provide businesses with a clear understanding of their obligations in terms of the way that they are selling.
The inquiry is meant to provide an opportunity to examine the measures that are currently in place and determine whether or not they are adequately addressing the concerns of consumers. The inquiry will begin very soon and will be held by the Consumer Affairs Advisory Council of the Australian government.
Individuals who wish to contribute their mobile commerce apps experiences to the inquiry have been invited to do so through the official website of the council.