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Telcos directed to comply with complaints-handling rules

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17 December 2018

Thirty-one telcos face enforcement action for not having appropriately documented complaints-handling processes in place following investigations by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The ACMA investigated 41 telcos to assess their compliance with new requirements, in place since 1 July 2018, to have a documented complaints-handling process available for their customers.

Following the investigations:

  • only seven telcos were not found in breach of the new rules
  • three telcos undertook comprehensive remediation to move into full compliance during the investigation process
  • 27 telcos took positive steps to remediate
  • four telcos took inadequate steps to remediate.

As a result, the ACMA has issued formal warnings to 27 telcos and remedial directions to the following four telcos:

  • Australia Broadband Pty Ltd
  • Flip TV Pty Limited
  • OzTalk Communications Pty Ltd
  • Simply NBN Pty Ltd (trading as Hello Broadband).

These four telcos have been directed to fix deficiencies by 19 December 2018 or face serious financial penalties. The telcos can seek reconsideration of the ACMA's decision to give them a direction.

‘Having a documented complaints-handling process available for customers should be standard practice for every telco’, said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

‘Consumers should know how their telco will deal with their complaint. They should also have confidence that their complaint will be dealt with effectively, without ‘buck-passing’ across the service supply chain’, said Ms O’Loughlin.

‘Effective complaints-handling is even more critical as the migration of customers to services delivered over the NBN reaches its peak’.

‘The ACMA has put in place a comprehensive set of rules to ensure the telco industry lifts its game in complaints-handling. We are now moving to enforce those rules’, said Ms O’Loughlin.

Telcos face fines of up to $10 million if they fail to carry out the requirements of the remedial directions.

MR 40/2018

For more information, please contact ACMA Media on 0438 375 776 or media@acma.gov.au.

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