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Consumer vulnerability: expectations for the telco industry - consultation 27/2021

We want to create a statement of expectations for the telco industry to improve outcomes for vulnerable consumers.  

Status
Open
Consultation number
IFC 27/2021
Closing in 45 days (08 September 2021)
In progress

Key documents

The issue

Many Australians will experience being in vulnerable circumstances, in some form, during their lifetime. The devastating effects of environmental emergencies (such as drought, bushfires or floods), the challenge of living with a serious illness, the difficulty of raising a family on a low income and most recently, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, are some of the circumstances that can contribute to people’s experience of vulnerability.

We expect vulnerable consumers to receive a level of customer care appropriate to their circumstances, to enable them to select telecommunications products and services suited to their needs, and manage these services efficiently.

To improve outcomes for vulnerable consumers buying telecommunications products and accessing services, we are consulting on a draft statement of expectations that sets goals and expected outcomes for telcos in 5 key priority areas:

  • internal business practices
  • selling and contracting
  • customer service
  • financial hardship
  • disconnection.

Have your say

Issue 1: Identifying consumers in vulnerable circumstances

  1. The ACMA proposes that when identifying consumers who may be vulnerable, telcos should consider consumer vulnerability in terms of the circumstances that create risks of harm, detriment or disadvantage in consumers’ interactions with the telecommunications market. Do you agree with this approach? If not, please explain and provide alternative thinking.

Issue 2: Setting expectations for telcos – priority areas

  1. Are the ACMA’s 5 proposed priority areas appropriate? Are there any other priority areas that should be substituted or included?
  2. Are the outcomes set out under each priority area appropriate? Are there any additional outcomes that should be specified?
  3. Are the examples provided in the statement of expectations appropriate and realistic? Are there any additional examples that would assist telcos in understanding how to achieve the objectives?

Publication of submissions

Read about the ACMA’s policy regarding the publication of submissions

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