Australia's ACMA ramps up telco compliance activities

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has been ramping up its audit and compliance activities for the telecommunications sector after discovering poor compliance with the new complaints handling standard.

An audit of 41 telecommunications service providers conducted a month after the new standard came into effect in July found that none were fully compliant with the standard.

None of the operators had been providing customers will all the information required – which must include clear details about how to file a complaint or report a problem.

Two of the providers had no written complaints handling processes available on their websites, seven had substantial deficiencies in these written processes and numerous telcos did not classify complaints or set out processes for classification.

As a result of the audit, during the quarter ACMA launched 59 compliance investigations into telecommunications providers, 41 of which relate to the new standard.

“Telco consumers need easy access to information about how to make a complaint and how their telco will handle that complaint. They also need to be confident that their problems will be dealt with promptly and effectively,” ACMA chair Nerida O'Loughlin said.

“While many providers moved swiftly to rectify the shortcomings identified by the ACMA’s audit, it is clear that not all customers are receiving the service required by the standard. We will now consider formal action against the telcos that continue to fail to comply.”

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