Issue No 4: 19 March 2018
Industry Welcomes New Draft Regulation on Complaint Handling
The telecommunications industry welcomed the release today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) of new draft regulatory instruments relating to complaint handling and record keeping.
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said its industry members would digest the detail of the draft instruments and provide feedback to the ACMA on the practicalities and cost implications of implementing new rules. Some smaller service providers have already expressed concern about the level of prescription within the draft Complaint Handling Standard, the significant documentation requirements and the impact of these on smaller operators.
Mr Stanton said that one significant challenge would be to produce a consistent and comparable data set of service-related complaints received by service providers – as is required by the ACMA’s proposed new Record-Keeping Rule.
“This is, in part, because service providers do not necessarily categorise the varying types of customer contacts – including technical queries, complaints or other information requests – in a uniform way, ” Mr Stanton said.
“Separating, categorising and reporting on contacts from customers based on the specific NBN access technology that the customer is using might also present operational challenges.
“Also, customers are increasingly using self-help tools such as chat-bots, online assistance and discussion forums to resolve issues, rather than contacting a call-centre as a first option."
Mr Stanton said industry fully recognised the importance of efficient and effective complaint handling and the need to redouble those efforts, particularly with the disruption and inherent additional complexity associated with migrating customers to multiple new technologies on next-generation networks.
Communications Alliance submission on the Review of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015
Communication Alliance made a submission to the Department of Communications and the Arts Review of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015 recommending that no changes be made to the Federal Court-based application and injunction process.
The brief submission argues that the mechanism introduced by the Amendment in June 2015, including the streamlined process for applications for injunctions that are extensions or variations of already existing injunctions, works effectively and that the Court process for injunctions established by the Amendment is working well for Carriage Service Providers (CSPs).
The submission notes that Section 115A(9) might be improved by introducing a ‘reasonable test’ to allow CSPs to provide technical expertise without necessarily be liable for parts of the costs of the proceedings.