9 December 2010
Reconnecting the Customer public inquiry—progress report released
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has released a progress report on the Reconnecting the Customer public inquiry into how the telecommunications industry deals with its customers.
The purpose of the report is to provide an update on the work of the inquiry so far and to give an overview of submissions.
‘Consultation is a vital part of the Reconnecting the Customer strategy and the ACMA wishes to thank everyone who provided a submission,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
‘The progress report captures some of the themes emerging from the public inquiry, such as the different perspectives held by consumers and providers on what constitutes effective customer service and the problems associated with identifying and addressing complaints,’ he added.
Through this consultation phase, the ACMA has received more than 130 written submissions and 32 verbal submissions.
Other themes which have emerged include the complexities of today’s telecommunications industry, challenges facing disadvantaged and vulnerable consumers and concerns about the effectiveness of some aspects of the current regulatory framework to provide consumer safeguards—in particular the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code (TCP code) and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) scheme.
It has also become apparent that customer service and complaints-handling problems can often be triggered by underlying causes such as the nature of the products sold and inadequate or inaccurate information about them.
Suggestions for improvement have ranged from sole reliance on the market to more direct regulatory intervention.
Over the next several months, the ACMA will continue to communicate with interested parties while developing proposals to improve customer service and complaints handling in the telecommunications industry. A paper, which will include recommendations and responses to the issues identified during the inquiry, is due for release early in 2011.
The Reconnecting the Customer progress report is available on the ACMA website.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Donald Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980, 0418 86 1766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The ACMA is Australia’s regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA’s strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia’s public interest. For more information: www.acma.gov.au.