ACMA tells telcos to fix recurring issues

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has said that it is going to spend 2014 making sure telcos actually fix ongoing problems, rather than just placating unhappy customers with credit.

Australia's telcos crediting customers' accounts when there is a problem, but not addressing the cause of that problem, will be a specific behaviour that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will be looking to put a stop to in 2014.

As part of the Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) code , the telecommunications companies are supposed to identify and address ongoing problems in the company that affect multiple customers.

Yesterday, the ACMA said that it had heard several cases where telcos were failing to identify systematic problems, and were instead simply trying to resolve each individual problem with the customer at the first point of contact, through offering credit.

The ACMA said this meant that issues were not being investigated to the full degree to find out what the underlying causes.

"The TCP code requires providers to analyse their complaints at least every three months," the ACMA said.

"This is to identify any systematic problems, irrespective of whether the individual complaints may have been resolved at the first point of contact."

The ACMA said telcos that aren't examining the complaints from customers for underlying issues are now "on notice", because the ACMA would be reviewing this aspect of the TCP code this year.

Following the introduction of the TCP code in 2012, then-Communications Minister Stephen Conroy gave the ACMA the ability to introduce consumer protection measures if it believes the code is not being met.


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