The Standard, which came into effect in July, requires telcos to clearly set out minimum complaints-handling requirements and processes and ACMA’s investigations, but following an audit of 41 telcos by the Australia's Communications and Media Authority, as at August 2018, none of the telcos were providing consumers with all the information required by the Standard.
Instead, the audit indicated to the ACMA that:
- two telcos had no written complaints-handling processes available on their website;
- seven telcos had substantial deficiencies in their written processes; and
- a range of telcos did not classify complaints or set out processes for classification.
And the findings come despite the ACMA boosting its telco compliance investigations, launching 59 new investigations, with the 41 relating to the new complaints-handling Standard.
"Telco consumers need easy access to information about how to make a complaint and how their telco will handle that complaint. They also need to be confident that their problems will be dealt with promptly and effectively,” said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.
“While many providers moved swiftly to rectify the shortcomings identified by the ACMA’s audit, it is clear that not all customers are receiving the service required by the Standard. We will now consider formal action against the telcos that continue to fail to comply.
“This is the first time the ACMA has reported on telco compliance with new rules we introduced to help consumers migrate to services delivered over the national broadband network.
“The time critical nature of the NBN rollout means that early and consistent industry compliance is essential."