ACMA Outlines Consumer Safeguards From Telcos

  • Six protection measures
  • Greater regulatory scrutiny
  • Telcos must change – ACMA

Australia’s  telecommunications consumers can look forward to safeguards against ‘bill shock,’ easier to understand plans and the more timely resolution of their issues, under a multi-layered plan to improve customer service released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

“This is all about the consumer—better customer care, better service and a new approach from the industry,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman, at the launch of the Reconnecting the Customer (RTC) draft public inquiry report.

Under the RTC proposals, more than a thousand Australian telcos and ISPs will need to deliver on six major consumer protection measures, while coming under greater regulatory scrutiny to make sure they follow through.

“We are looking forward to the industry taking this “guidance” and considering how it can best be included in the industry’s Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code,” Chapman said.  “The code is currently under industry review so this is the opportunity for the industry to respond to the challenge. The industry response will certainly give an early indication of its readiness to effect the clearly needed step change—all in the interest of yielding materially improved consumer outcomes.”

Further, more direct intervention by imposing industry standards and service provider determinations has been foreshadowed by the ACMA as the preferred approach for several of the proposals.

“The way the telecommunications industry in Australia has dealt with its customers must change,” said Chapman. “During our comprehensive review it also became clear the telcos understand the need for that change, and this plan provides both the specific action points and the incentives to implement them.”

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