ACS withdraws survey critical of Hutchison

The Australian Computer Society has withdrawn a survey of its members on Hutchison's service levels following 'discussions' with the telco. The controversial survey found that "only 11 per cent of [ACS] members believe the 3 network offers a reasonable level of service", and quickly raised the ire of Hutchison, which claimed the survey was designed to elicit a negative response.

The Australian Computer Society has withdrawn a survey of its members on Hutchison's service levels following 'discussions' with the telco.

The controversial survey found that "only 11 per cent of [ACS] members believe the 3 network offers a reasonable level of service", and quickly raised the ire of Hutchison, which claimed the survey was designed to elicit a negative response.

Hutchison instructed its lawyers to send a letter to the ACS demanding the survey be withdrawn, but ACS president Edward Mandla refused, and said the leader of a company had to be thick-skinned. Mandla instituted the monthly survey of ACS members when he was elected national president of the society last year in an attempt to secure the relevance of the society.

However, the ACS announced Friday that it had withdrawn the survey and removed the related press release from its Web site. It said "the move follows discussions with Hutchison Telecoms, which operates the 3 network, about its handling of service issues".

ACS chief executive Dennis Furini told ZDNet Australia   the society had not withdrawn the survey due to the threat of legal action, but admitted it was a factor.

"We've developed a relationship with them as a result of the survey," said Furini, and added that Hutchison had accepted an offer of assistance from the ACS. "We looking at a few people in our membership who have some knowledge in that area to provide suggestions for the future."

Mandla apologised to Hutchison for any damage the survey might have caused, adding that he had accepted assurances that the telco will directly address any concerns related to the 3 network from ACS members.

"It was never our intention to harm the reputation of Hutchison Telecoms or its ground-breaking 3rd generation mobile network and we regret any damage that might have occurred," Mandla said.

"We are very pleased with the way in which Hutchison has responded to our concerns, including their willingness to receive ACS suggestions about future innovative solutions on the 3 network, a development which will benefit all business customers," said Mandla.

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