Sydney telco warned over customer complaints conundrum

Sydney telco warned over customer complaints conundrum

FuzeNet has indicated it is committed to improving its complaints-handling and customer service

Sydney-based telecommunications provider, FuzeNet, has been formally warned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for not properly identifying and managing customer complaints.

The warning follows an investigation by the telco industry regulator. The ACMA claims that it found FuzeNet’s customer service staff failed to identify and record complaints during the June 2016 quarter.

In some instances, according to the regulator, FuzeNet also closed complaints without the consent of the customer and without recording or advising the customer of the resolution of the complaint.

“Customers are entitled to have complaints about their telecommunications services handled effectively,” ACMA chair, Nerida O’Loughlin, said. “Telcos cannot just dismiss a customer’s dissatisfaction with a service because the customer did not formally label it as ‘a complaint’.

“Apart from being a code obligation, sound complaint-handling is a key part of quality customer service and good business practice," she said.

While the ACMA has issued a formal warning to the telco, which specialises in providing high-speed internet connections to new apartment complexes, the regulator also noted that this is the first time FuzeNet has had an enforcement action taken against it.

The ACMA also stressed that the company has indicated it is committed to improving its complaints-handling and customer service.

According to the regulator, the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code requires all industry participants to have clear and effective complaint-handling processes.

Under the rules, telcos must identify and acknowledge complaints, give each complaint a unique reference number; propose a resolution, keep customers updated on progress and delays, and inform customers who are dissatisfied how they can escalate their concerns. 

FuzeNet's formal warning comes just weeks after the ACMA called out fellow telco services provider, iTalkBB Australia, over direct debit, complaints-handling and record-keeping rules breaches.

Meanwhile, in October, Melbourne-based telecommunications provider, Crunch Tel, was warned by the ACMA over transferring customers to its service without their consent.

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