Home Telecoms & NBN ACCC to penalise NBN Co if technicians miss appointments
ACCC to penalise NBN Co if technicians miss appointments Featured

Australian Consumer and Competition Commission chairman Rod Sims says rules will be introduced to penalise the NBN Co when its technicians do not turn up for scheduled appointments.

The head of the Australian competition watchdog told the ABC's National Wrap producer Patricia Karvelas that the rules would be introduced this year.

The chief executive of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Teresa Corbin, was quoted as saying that delays in installations or repairs would "result in much stress and detriment".

"We often hear from consumers who have service faults which last for long periods of time due to missed appointments from technicians," she said.

"When outages occur people may be unable to access government services, education and employment opportunities."

nbn technicians big

While the quantum of the penalties has not been finalised, a figure of $25 for every missed appointment above a certain number that is acceptable has been bandied around. The penalty would go to the retail service provider.

In 2016, there were a total of 82.552 missed appointments.

The watchdog began an inquiry into the NBN Co's service standards in November which also covers missed appointments.

In its announcement, the ACCC said it would be conducting "a public inquiry to determine whether NBN wholesale service standard levels are appropriate, and to consider whether regulation is necessary to improve customer experiences".

Upping the service standards will add to the costs at NBN Co, which already bleeding red ink.

Given that the inquiry is to deal with service standards, the NBN Co expressed surprise about Sims seeming to pre-empt its findings.

A spokesman for the NBN builder told the ABC that it understood the inquiry was to decide whether regulation was needed or not.

NBN Co has not yet made its submission to the inquiry.

Photo: courtesy NBN Co

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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