Tuesday, 17 December 2019 16:59

More to be done to recognise impact of ‘unreliable telco services” on consumers, says ACCAN Featured

By
Una Lawrence, ACCAN Una Lawrence, ACCAN

ACCAN, the consumer group representing telecommunications consumers, says more needs to be done to recognise the impact of unreliable telco services on consumers.

Commenting on the Federal Government’s announcement on Tuesday of the second stage of a review of telecoms consumer safeguards, the Australian Consumer Communications Action Network (ACCAN) said more needs to be done to recognise the impact of ‘unreliable telco services” on consumers,

ACCAN said the telco reliability framework remains a work in progress.

ACCAN Director of Policy, Una Lawrence said “having a clear framework that makes it easy to understand when consumers can expect issues with their phone or internet service to be fixed is an important first step”.

“However, more needs to be done to recognise the impact of unreliable telco services on consumers. If you are waiting for a technician or tradesperson to come to your house to fix an issue and they miss the scheduled appointment, you should be automatically compensated for your time.

“Telco customers will benefit from clearer communication from their providers, however, further efforts will be needed to protect consumers against unreliable telco services,” concluded Lawrence.

The Government’s announcement of the review also drew comment from telecommunications lobby group Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton.

Welcoming the Government’s announcement on “modernising consumer safeguards in telecommunications”, Stanton said that “keeping telecommunications regulations up to date with changing technologies and consumer expectations is an important task”.

“We are pleased to see that the Consumer Safeguards Review Part B Final report reflects elements of the industry feedback on the initial Departmental recommendations and the consultation undertaken by the Minister and the Department during the past year.

“I believe it paves the way for providers to make continuity commitments in ways that support consumer choice and preferences, are appropriate to providers’ business models and promote competitive differentiation,” Stanton said.

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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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