The government’s move on strengthening consumer protections follows a review of consumer safeguards, with the additional protections designed to improve the handling of customer complaints and increase the transparency of complaints data to drive the telco industry toward improved customer service.
The government on Thursday announced it had made a further 32 recommendations as outlined in Part A of the Consumer Safeguards Review.
The three-part review, announced in April 2018, examines how to better protect telco customers in a landscape that the government says has seen massive change over the last two decades.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the Morrison Government was “putting consumers first”.
“The consumer safeguards we have in place today are designed around the old telephone network. The ongoing relevance and usefulness of these protections is diminishing as Australia’s telecommunications environment and consumer use evolves.”
Fifield said Thursday’s Part A Recommendations: Consumer Redress and Complaints Handling would strengthen the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman by improving its governance, operations and relationship with the telco regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
The consultation paper for Part B: Reliability of Telecommunications Services was also released on Thursday and submissions are due by 21 December.
Part B of the review is based on the fundamental principle that “all Australians should be able to connect to, and stay connected to, a reliable fixed service”.