Is telecommunications a shonky business?

Summary:Last year the telecommunications industry set new records. Record complaints to the TIO. Record complaints from the ACCC. Why are telecommunications companies getting it wrong?

Last year the telecommunications industry set new records. Record complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. Record complaints from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Why are telecommunications companies getting it wrong?

These days it might be best not to admit publicly that you are employed in the sector. If you're at a barbecue over the summer, tell everyone you work for one of the big four banks. You'll be more socially acceptable.

So why are telecommunications companies getting it so wrong? I suspect it's a combination of poor processes and a misunderstanding within the industry of what is the "norm" that is acceptable to customers. Are senior managers actually seeing things from the customer's point of view? Or is it another symptom of a skewed industry where one company controls the vast proportion of the profit?

Telcos have an annoying habit of making things more complicated than they need to be, sometimes driven by the limitations of technology, but largely because of pricing and marketing specialists who don't have the mental agility to develop plans that are easy to understand.

In this edition I call on previous interviews on Twisted Wire and BTalk (on to illustrate just how out of touch the industry is with the real world. Do you agree? Add your comments in the Talkback section below.

If you want to hear more listen to these pieces on Twisted Wire and on our sister site

Topics: Telcos


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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