- 1Open for comment16 Mar 2018
- 2Submissions close16 Apr 2018
On 4 June 2018, the ACMA made the Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints Handling) Industry Standard 2018 and Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints) Record-Keeping Rules 2018.
The ACMA has developed new complaints-handling rules to better protect telecommunications consumers. These rules are the first step in a program to improve the consumer experience in moving to, and using, the National Broadband Network (the new network).
The ACMA is seeking public comment on the new complaints-handling rules, which consist of:
- The Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints Handling) Industry Standard 2018 (Complaints-handling Standard)
The Complaints-handling Standard will require all carriage service providers (CSPs) providing telecommunications services to consumers and small businesses to comply with rules specifying how complaints must be managed, including time frames for response and resolution. The ACMA proposes to use complaints-handling obligations in Chapter 8 of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code 2015 (TCP Code) as the basis for the Standard. Changes will provide additional consumer certainty, support better cooperation across the supply chain and improve the enforceability of the existing arrangements. These provisions will ensure upstream providers such as wholesalers, other intermediaries and NBN Co provide reasonable assistance to CSPs to resolve customer complaints.
- Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints) Record-Keeping Rules (RKRs)
The RKRs will require CSPs to report complaints data to the ACMA on a quarterly basis. Proposed data will be drawn from the records that CSPs are required to keep in accordance with complaints-handling requirements and existing industry practice, such as the Complaints in Context reporting scheme. The RKRs will enable the ACMA to monitor complaint levels and assess whole-of-industry and individual providers’ level of responsiveness to, and resolution of, complaints and service issues. We intend to publish this data on our website on a quarterly basis, helping consumers to make informed choices about providers, encouraging better complaints-handling by providers, and enabling the ACMA to more effectively monitor complaint trends and levels.
The program will also include the development of three additional legislative instruments on service continuity, line speed-testing and the provision of information to consumers about migrating to and using the network. The ACMA expects to consult publically on these additional rules in April.
Issue for comment
The ACMA welcomes comment from stakeholders on the issues set out in the consultation paper New rules to protect consumers migrating to the NBN—Part 1: Improving management and handling of consumer complaints.