Peak telecommunications industry group, the Communications Alliance, said on Wednesday, after publication of the TIO's report, that the new guidance underlines the industry’s commitment to deliver fair credit management outcomes for all Australian telecommunications consumers.
And CA says the industry had reviewed sales, credit assessment and management practices in light of the recent recommendations of the Rank the Telco report by the Financial & Consumer Rights Council, Victoria.
The CA references the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code which is the Industry code of conduct that sets out what suppliers must do in relation to sales, billing, and credit and debt management and, under which all Carriage Service Providers who supply telecommunications products to customers in Australia are required to observe and comply with the code.
According to CA, while the industry performs hundreds of thousands credit applications each month for new customers, “with the vast majority processed quickly and efficiently to allow customers to purchase and enjoy their services and stay connected”, there are many other factors that can later affect the customers’ ability to fulfil their overall financial commitments.
“In these cases, consumers may wish to access their provider’s financial hardship team to discuss appropriate options. Industry is working with Financial Counsellors Australia to create a contact list of hardship teams to facilitate this access.
“Industry is committed to ongoing improvement in how it serves customers. Recently, Communications Alliance varied the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code to reference assistance for victims of domestic or family, and is working to develop further guidance on this topic.
“Industry has also been working to improve cross industry collaboration on these topics, including attendance at the Vulnerability Roundtable, Thriving Communities Partnership Workshops and Family Violence Workshops with Consumer Affairs, and looks forward to continuing this work.”
The latest TIO complaints data, related to credit management, show a recent positive trend with respect to credit management complaints.