EDGE 2015 is starting in

Find out more EDGE 2015
ACCAN: Telco consent practices are flawed

ACCAN: Telco consent practices are flawed

Report shows high volume of customer complaints indicating wide consumer dissatisfaction

There is no love for the telecommunications industry, with a report by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) showing major potholes in the sector’s customer consent practices generating wide consumer dissatisfaction.

The Informed Consent Research Report was based on complaints received by regulatory bodies including the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC), Telecommunications Industry Ombudsmen (TIO) and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE).

Service suppliers were also surveyed. Figures showed that 40,000 consent complains – such as contract disputes – are received each year but the paper suggested this number may be underrepresented since some data collection was limited because many organisations could not easily distinguish consent-based disputes.

Different demographics were also analysed in the report, with young people coming out on top as the group that submitted the most amount of complaints followed by culturally and linguistically diverse consumers, indigenous consumers and those with intellectual disabilities.

ACCAN CEO, Allan Asher, attributed the high volume of disputes to the shortcomings of service providers, which encompassed premium SMS companies. He said these suppliers do a poor job of informing customers on contractual consent obligations.

“Our research showed a lot of areas which people didn’t understand the nature of the transactions they were entering and suppliers aren’t rigorous in checking that up so people in this complicated digital world are not understanding their obligations when they consent to telco services,” Asher, said.

While he conceded that consumers are not without fault, Asher said there is a general inconsistency in the way companies choose to detail contract information, which can range from no providing information to dishing out numerous pages of legal documentation.

“What we need is for organisations to understand the nature of commitment they expect consumers to make and to give a good-faith summary, and get some objective consent that consumers agree on,” he said. “There are a lot of critical terms they want to follow up, such as pricing, so just the key features.”

ACCAN are speaking with the regulators and the DBCDE to come up with a list of best practice guides. The watchdog plans to meet with these key authorities to discuss a path to rectify the issue.

“Companies can fix these problems overnight but I suspect they will be resistant,” Asher said. “We will try and work with those that what to improve and fight those who don’t.”

The government has also been active in stamping out dodgy telco dealings which includes the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) approving Australia’s first training program and the introduction of the Do Not Call Register that reduced telemarketer related complaints by 60 per cent.

ACMA is touting a 60 per cent plunge in complaints regarding the Do Not Call Register as a result of improved telemarketers compliance.

EDGE 2015:: For all the latest on EDGE 2015 including the keynote speakers visit the EDGE mini-site now

Follow Us

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ACANNDepartment of Broadband Communications and the Digital EconomyACMA



In Pictures: 7 things we hate about Twitter

In Pictures: 7 things we hate about Twitter

You probably either love Twitter for its quirkiness and brevity or see it as a pointless waste of time. After nearly a decade on the social scene, Twitter still needs to improve its user experience and fill in notable gaps in the service. These seven problems are long overdue for a fix.

In Pictures: 7 things we hate about Twitter
IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 - Sponsor Briefing

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 - Sponsor Briefing

With EDGE 2015 rapidly approaching, ARN and Reseller News NZ held a Sponsors Briefing where ARN publisher and president, Susan Searle, and Events Manager, Alexandra West, ran through the considerable logistics in detail. Attendees then enjoyed some splendid canapes and drinks. EDGE is designed to bring the A/NZ channel together in a collaborative and educational environment. Themed around channel channel leadership, EDGE will be held at the Sheraton Mirage, Port Douglas, July 20-23. Photos by MIKE GEE.

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 - Sponsor Briefing
In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

Cooking, learning language and doing the laundry are a few of the human skills demonstrated by.real humanoid bots featured in the National Geographic movie Robots.

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

iasset.com is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

Show Comments