Falling complaint numbers are good news for Telco consumers
Sydney, 14 March 2013 – Complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) about mobile services fell by 30 per cent over the past year as the industry’s new consumer protection code took effect, Communications Alliance said today.
Figures released today by the TIO for the period October to December 2012 – the first full quarter since the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code came into force – also showed that total complaints dropped by 20.3 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier.
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said the welcome reductions in complaints pointed to the fact that service providers were working hard to comply with the upgraded consumer protections in the TCP Code.
“Complaints about billing, complaint handling, credit management and contracts have all fallen over each of the last four quarters, and the volume of complaints that are not resolved at the initial level are also down by more than 34 per cent since the beginning of 2012,” Mr Stanton said.
“It is encouraging that these reductions are being achieved during a period when public awareness of the TIO has risen dramatically – a factor that itself will tend to generate higher complaint volumes.”
The TCP Code was put in place by Communications Alliance and the industry itself, with help from consumers and regulator representatives and is the most comprehensive upgrade ever achieved for consumer protection in the telecommunications industry.
Additional obligations around billing information and pre-sale delivery of information to consumers took effect on 1 March 2013, as part of the phased introduction of key measures in the Code.
“The challenge now is to ensure we can achieve industry-wide compliance with the Code provisions and continue to achieve higher customer satisfaction and further falls in complaint levels,” Mr Stanton said.
The industry has established an independent code compliance monitoring company called Communications Compliance Ltd, which is working with service providers, regulators and consumer groups to help build a broad culture of compliance.
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.
Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.
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