Monday, 11 June 2018 23:56

New NBN complaints rules better for consumers, industry: ACCAN Featured

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New NBN complaints rules better for consumers, industry: ACCAN Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Telecommunications consumer interest group ACCAN says new complaints rules for consumers switching to Australia's national broadband network, the NBN, will give the regulator better tools to ensure improvements in complaint handling by the telco industry.

According to ACCAN chief executive, Teresa Corbin, “The requirement that all companies in the supply chain work better together to resolve customer issues is much needed.

“There is a need for improved practices with a strong regulatory framework to ensure telcos are meeting the needs and expectations of customers with complaints.

“The experience of large numbers of consumers switching to the NBN has shone a light on the inadequacies of the current model supporting the delivery of essential telecommunications services.

“Consumers are very frustrated at being passed from their telco to NBN and back as they try to resolve complex issues as they switch over to the NBN.

“We congratulated the minister last year for using his powers and taking these steps to protect consumers. The new rules will give the ACMA the tools it needs to drive better complaints handling and greater transparency of how the industry is handling complaints in the future.”

The new complaints rules come into effect by 1 July and can potentially result in the imposition of civil penalties of up to $250,000.for telcos breaching the standards.

Previously, ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said, "Telco customers deserve to have their complaints dealt with quickly and effectively”.

“Both our industry information-gathering exercise and our survey of residential households demonstrate that telco complaints-handling practices need to improve.

“As industry co-regulation is proving ineffective in this area, we will put in place rules so that the ACMA can act more quickly to deal with non-compliance.” 

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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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