Tuesday, 18 December 2018 12:25

New complaint handling rules send a ‘clear warning’ to telcos: ACCAN Featured

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New complaint handling rules send a ‘clear warning’ to telcos: ACCAN Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Telecommunications consumer interest lobby group the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) says the enforcement of new complaint handling rules for telcos will drive better conduct by the telco industry, and sends a clear warning to the industry that they must take their obligations seriously.

“ACCAN is delighted that the ACMA’s enforcement of new complaint handling rules has resulted in swift action through formal warnings and remedial directions," ACCAN said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“It is fundamentally important for consumers and small businesses that they are provided with the information they need to empower them to complain should a problem arise,” said ACCAN director of Policy, Una Lawrence.

“Additionally, any complaints that arise should be dealt with fairly and promptly. This is especially the case during the NBN switchover, which is compelling consumers to reconsider their telco arrangements, make decisions about their service needs, and engage with telco retailers.”

As reported by iTWire, the Australian Communications and Media Authority is taking a heavy-handed approach to non-compliance with complaints-handling processes by telcos, with only 7 out of 41 telcos investigated found not to be in breach of the rules – with telcos who fail to carry out remediation directions issued by the ACMA facing fines of up to $10 million.

As a result of the ACMA investigation, 31 telcos now face enforcement action for not having appropriately documented complaints-handling processes available for their customers in compliance with new requirements in place since 1 July.

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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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