ACMA welcomes telcos’ comparative complaint data

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has welcomed the first data comparing the number of complaints made to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) about five major telecommunications providers to each provider’s customer base.

The joint release of quarterly data was published today by Communications Alliance (CA) and the TIO and can be found on the CA and TIO websites.

‘The importance of comparable information about customer service and complaint handling was first identified in the ACMA’s Reconnecting the Customer public inquiry in 2011,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

‘The TIO complaint performance of each company is useful information which provides a proxy for the success of each telco in preventing or resolving complaints before they get to the TIO.’

This important step forward for the industry complements other reforms following the Reconnecting the Customer inquiry such as:

  • the requirements for clearer advertising, which have benefitted from being lifted above the requirements of general consumer law;
  • improved point of sale disclosure via two-page Critical Information Summaries
  • usage alerts for mobile and Internet customers at risk of bill shock
  • improved complaints-handling requirements.

‘The ACMA commends the five firms—Amaysim, iiNet, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone Hutchison Australia—which have led this process, supported by the TIO and CA,’ Mr Chapman said. ‘The ACMA looks forward to more firms keen to compete for business on their customer service credentials joining the initiative for the next quarterly release.’