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.
The full telecoms investigations report by ACMA shows Australia’s dominant telcos – Telstra, the Singtel-owned Optus and Vodafone Huchison have all breached the complaint-handling processes.
The investigations also found that:
- Three telcos undertook comprehensive remediation to move into full compliance during the investigation process;
- Twenty-seven telcos took positive steps to remediate; and
- Four telcos took inadequate steps to remediate.
- Australian Broadband Pty Ltd;
- Flip TV Pty Limited;
- Oztalk Communications Pty Ltd; and
- Simply NBN Pty Ltd (trading as Hello Broadband).
The ACMA says these four telcos have been directed to fix deficiencies by 19 December or face serious financial penalties, adding that the telcos can seek reconsideration of the ACMA's decision to give them a direction.
“Having a documented complaints-handling process available for customers should be standard practice for every telco’, said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.
“Consumers should know how their telco will deal with their complaint. They should also have confidence that their complaint will be dealt with effectively, without ‘buck-passing’ across the service supply chain.
“Effective complaints-handling is even more critical as the migration of customers to services delivered over the NBN reaches its peak.
“The ACMA has put in place a comprehensive set of rules to ensure the telco industry lifts its game in complaints-handling. We are now moving to enforce those rules."