Australian communications watchdog ACMA orders telcos to improve customer service
Posted in: Government & Policy at 12/09/2011 15:33
The communications authority has told telecommunications providers to lift their game over call plans and when dealing with customer complaints.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) makes the demand in the final report of its inquiry into the customer service and complaints-handling practices of domestic phone providers.
To read this AAP report in full, see:
Reconnecting the Customer final report released [news release]
The Australian Communications and Media Authority today published the final report of its public inquiry into the customer service and complaints-handling practices of Australian telecommunications providers.
'Reconnecting the Customer has made findings about the concerns many consumers have when dealing with their service provider. It proposes five substantive changes to make buying and using a mobile phone or internet service much simpler,' said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
The ACMA is formally inviting the industry to incorporate the following changes to its Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) Code by February 2012:
- Clearer pricing information in advertisements allowing consumers to more easily compare services.
- Improved and more consistent pre-sale information about plans.
- Developing meaningful performance metrics which allow consumers to compare providers.
- Tools for consumers to monitor usage and expenditure.
- Better complaints-handling by providers.
'We have closely consulted on these outcomes with consumers and industry and the overwhelming response has been that improvements are both urgent and necessary,' Mr Chapman said.
'The industry should address these concerns as soon as possible so the industry is now formally on notice to reflect these outcomes in the new TCP Code.
'If the industry doesn't develop a code that addresses the ACMA's concerns, the ACMA will mandate changes through direct regulation.'
A copy of the report and associated documents can be found on the ACMA's engage website www.engage.acma.gov.au.
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The ACMA is Australia's regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA's strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia's public interest. For more information: www.acma.gov.au.