Telco business complaints peak as ACMA calls for reform

Telco business complaints peak as ACMA calls for reform

Complaints from small businesses rose 28 per cent during Q1 2020-21

Credit: Photo 94910898 © Mr.phonlawat Chaicheevinlikit |

“We also propose that all telcos must be registered and that irresponsible telcos that rip off consumers can be deregistered by the ACMA." 

In its submission to the Government’s Consumer Safeguards Review—Part C: Choice and fairness, dated 25 September, the Authority proposed to reform the current telecommunications safeguards framework by: 

  • Enshrining essential consumer protection rules in direct regulation—some of which currently reside in industry codes;  
  • Implementing a registration scheme to administer market entry and exit by retail CSPs [carriage service providers] and provide clarity to consumers about which entities are subject to the rules; 
  • Introducing transparency measures to improve public accountability of providers and assist with informed consumer choice; 
  • Focusing on vulnerability as a key consumer protection matter. 

“This review presents an opportunity to recast the rules and replace detailed, cumbersome, contested and often confusing industry codes with a clear set of rules about what is essential for consumers. This will also deliver savings for industry, freeing up valuable resources to deliver better outcomes for consumers and drive innovation into the future,”  she said.

“It is good to see the drop in complaint numbers. But the total number of complaints is still too high, especially compared with other essential services. We also know that reporting of complaints may have been impacted by consumers having difficulty contacting their telco provider during the COVID pandemic.

“It is hard to imagine how to be in business today without a reliable internet service, so these numbers are especially worrying.

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Tags ACMAtioAustralian Communications and Media AuthorityTelecommunications Industry Ombudsman


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