Telcos to pay for slow connections, repairs

Telcos to pay for slow connections, repairs

Summary: Those customers who rage at the ridiculous amount of time that a telecommunications provider is taking to repair a fault or to connect a line may soon have a legal avenue to follow after the introduction of benchmark reforms.

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Those customers who rage at the ridiculous amount of time that a telecommunications provider is taking to repair a fault or to connect a line may soon have a legal avenue to follow after the introduction of benchmark reforms.

The Minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy announced the reforms, releasing an exposure draft of the Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee — Retail Performance Benchmarks) Instrument Act (No.1) 2011 for public consultation, which will amend the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999.

"The Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) is designed to protect consumers from poor customer service by setting timeframes to be met by service providers for the connection, fault repair and keeping of appointments in relation to standard telephone services," Conroy said in a statement.

"Where timeframes are not met, service providers are required to pay compensation to customers."

The benchmarks will take into consideration whether the premises involved are urban, rural or remote.

"In this way, the ACMA will be able to oversee compliance and enforcement of CSG standards in geographic areas where satisfactory customer service may be lacking," Conroy said. Small providers will be exempt from the benchmarks to ease their burden of red tape.

Conroy has asked for submissions on the discussion paper by 3 June.

Topics: Broadband, Government, Government AU, Legal, Telcos, NBN

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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Talkback

11 comments
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  • I dont how the government comes up with these ideas?
    I would say I'm partially affiliated with this topic (Tech, Telco) and if the goverment wants me to work faster than I want an extra $10,000 at least!

    Reality?
    cootified
    • To be fair on the statistics, the quarter DID include an enormous cleanup and repair job in QLD.
      To all the line techs out there who were shipped out for dirty, wet work, I salute you.
      myne-819b4
  • I agree, here's an other bright spark from the same stable.

    "Fixed labour costs could be NBN saviour

    Which company in its right mind would commit to a labour fixed-cost path along a nine year project roll out.

    It seems Quigley has the exclusive right to prevent costs from rising but with labour costs during a skills shortage it's - Force Majeure.
    Vasso Massonic
    0 minute ago"
    Vasso Massonic
  • Gee look Telstra minion #1 keeps bagging the NBN due to costs.

    Yet, what does he do when initiatives are considered to curtail costs (just as he wants) he bags the NBN still...

    Damned if you do/don't..eh!

    Your more precious than life itself shares are again $2.96... so why not sell, recoup half your money and then smell the roses and be able to judge comms on its merits not based around YOUR portfolio!
    Rizz-cd230
  • cootified,

    Here's my comment on the layman's rude interruption.

    The costs are not curtailed they are simply lumbered onto the net guy which, in the scheme of things creates a winner and a loser and is not proper business conduct.

    Much like your dilemma - save Conroy's bacon at your expense.
    Vasso Massonic
    • geeesss...you bag the NBN when they tried to save money by stopping the tender process due to overinflated labour cost. Yet you bag the NBN again when they again, thinking of ways to save $$$. Nothing is good enough for these Tel$tra shareholders.....the cost argument is getting way to oldddddd....you bored me to Sh$ts....
      Salami Chujillo
      • You obviously can't read or lack comprehension.

        "The costs are not curtailed they are simply lumbered onto the net guy which, in the scheme of things creates a winner and a loser and is not proper business conduct.

        Much like your dilemma - save Conroy's bacon at your expense."

        Courtesy: My post above
        Vasso Massonic
        • Ummm Mr. Telstra, the NBN is projected to have paid itself off by 2034...!

          End of story... \\

          Time for you to grow old gracefully instead of disgracefully...
          Rizz-cd230
  • You mean, Cootified tell Rizz/RS (gee fancy having to say grow up to someone of your vintage VasMas)...

    Well NBNCo's Corporate Plan that you FUDsters demanded when it wasn't available, says the NBN is in time, self funding (and can in fact be sold and we will PROFIT)...

    But you and the rest of the FUDsters, who have their own financial and political reasons to disagree (like your Telstra shares) say it won't..

    Gee who ever should we believe?
    Rizz-cd230
  • Ooh BTW thanks for realising that unlike you (one with a disgraceful financial interest in having the NBN fail) I am indeed, a mere layman.

    I've never claimed to be an expert (and never will). I'm just an fervent enthusiast, who simply wants the best (NBN) for the betterment of Australia and Australian's (even those who selfishly oppose the NBN, eh VasMas)!
    Rizz-cd230
  • Wow, what a print diarrhea
    Vasso Massonic