Sydney-based telco J2 Net has been slapped with a formal warning by the telecommunications industry regulator over its complaints handling process.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) issued the formal warning to J2 Net, which provides broadband internet and telephony services, after finding its documented complaints handling process did not comply with minimum standards.
The warning comes after an investigation by the regulator to assess J2 Net’s compliance with the country’s telco rules and found the company’s written complaints handling process did not provide clear timeframes for each step of the complaint process, or set out when a consumer can make a complaint.
The document also indicated that J2 Net’s complaints handling process may have not been free of charge in all instances, the ACMA said, with the investigation finding that J2 Net had breached the Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints Handling) Industry Standard 2018.
Under the Standard, telco complaints handling processes need to specify timeframes for processing and resolving complaints. They must also have procedures for prioritising or escalating complaints, as well as be free of charge for consumers, the ACMA said.
In July, the ACMA sent out formal warnings to four telecommunications companies because they had not joined a mandatory scheme for small business and consumer dispute resolutions.
That move followed an investigation by the ACMA which found ATS Telecoms, Bottle Communications, Dataphone and Essential Online, trading as Essential Telco, were all noncompliant with the scheme, contravening the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 as a result.
In fact, the telcos ignored multiple requests from the TIO to join the scheme, according to ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin. However, the four companies have since become scheme members.
In February, the ACMA warned 15 telecommunication providers for not complying with laws that support emergency services.
Following ACMA investigations, the telcos were issued formal warnings for failing to provide data, or providing inaccurate data, to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND).
In that instance, the telcos found to have breached the IPND rules were:
- Business Service Brokers, trading as TeleChoice
- DIDWW Ireland
- Dodo Services
- Swift Networks Group
- TPC Consolidated
- TravelSIM Australia
- Twilio Australia