Consultation paper puts Telcos under the microscope

Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis has welcomed the release of a consultation paper on proposed new rules to make sure consumers access effective complaints handling and a transparent and accountable redress scheme of telecommunications providers.

Last year the Australian Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) received more than 158,000 complaints compared to just over 2,000 for the New Zealand Telecom Dispute Resolution Service. “Consumers are fed up with poor service and poor safeguards when their provider won’t address a complaint properly.” said Mrs Sudmalis. The paper proposes a range of measures to handle complaints, including;

  • Telcos will continue to have responsibility for complaints but must have transparent escalation problems enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

  • A new independent and external dispute resolution body should be established to deal with complex complaints. This body will have the power to make providers take remedial action, including financial compensation and have the ability to issue fines to providers

  • The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) should have responsibility for collecting data relating to industry performance and complaints and publish reports using this data to allow industry and government to resolve systemic issues. They should also provide transparent reports of complaint levels for each telco.

The consultation paper is available here and submissions are due by 3 August 2018. “I encourage residents in Gilmore to provide feedback and submit their stories and experiences. This will only help our government in developing a positive strategy to tackle issues with our telcos.”

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