Tuesday, 24 April 2018 12:48

CA wants more changes to telecoms complaint handling rules Featured

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CA wants more changes to telecoms complaint handling rules Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Telecommunications industry lobby group Communications Alliance is not satisfied with the proposed changes to new regulatory rules on the handling of consumer complaints about telecommunications services.

CA welcomed the proposed changes but, in a statement on Tuesday, said the new record keeping rules proposed by the ACMA would not provide “meaningful comparative information for consumers”.

According to CA chief executive John Stanton, the proposed rules will be extremely costly to implement, “and will not contribute to the improvement of the consumer experience – neither for services supplied using the NBN, nor for other services”.

“Worse, the proposed RKRs will lead to providers diverting customer service resources away from addressing complaints, with no clear benefit to consumers.

“We have suggested, as an alternative, expanding the existing complaints in context report to provide consumers with comparable and unbiased data on complaints, without the huge additional cost of the RKRs – a cost that will ultimately be borne by consumers.

CA has submitted its suggestions for improvements to the proposed new regulatory rules on the handling of consumer complaints.

As recently reported by iTWire, the Coalition Government has finally honoured a two-year-old promise, with Communications Minister Mitch Fifield announcing that it would carry out a Consumer Safeguards Review in the telecommunications sector.

Back in February 2016, the government acknowledged that adjustments needed to be made to existing consumer safeguards in order to stay up-to-date with changes to existing technologies and also to meet consumer expectations.

That reaction came in response to the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Review report which made 12 key recommendations to improve telecommunications access in regional, rural and remote Australia. 

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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