Issue No 28: 19 October 2021
Telco Complaints Fall Sharply During COVID
Complaints to telcos dropped significantly despite the challenges presented by lockdowns in Australia and other countries during the pandemic, according to new data released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said, “It’s pleasing to see that complaints made directly to telcos dropped 18.2% in the last year and 35.5% compared to two years ago – this is a sustained and significant decrease in complaints and shows the ongoing efforts of providers to improve customer service.”
This data is in line with the recent report of decreased complaints to the industry Ombudsman over the past year and is all happening against a backdrop of increased use of services and increased affordability.1
While the average time to resolve across the full year increased slightly, the quarter-by-quarter data shows that there was a significant uptick during the September quarter last year – largely due to challenges presented by the pandemic - and the average time to resolve has decreased since then.
Additionally, the ACMA raises a concern about the rate of escalation of complaints to the Ombudsman, but escalated complaints have in fact decreased by 11.6% over the past two years and 6.7% in this year.
“With the significant decrease in complaints, it is likely that simple issues are being resolved before they become a complaint. This would mean that customers are getting faster responses on straightforward queries, and complaints are focused on more complex issues that may naturally take more time to resolve. This could also be behind the very small – 1.4 percentage point – increase in the escalation rate.”
New Telco Industry Code Fights Customer Transaction Fraud
As noted in last week’s We Communicate, Communications Alliance has published a new Industry Code designed to work in concert with other industry-initiated regulatory safeguards, including the Pre-Port Verification Standard and the Reducing Scam Calls Industry Code, to better protect customers from attempted fraudulent transactions.
The Communications Alliance code - C666:2021 Existing Customer Authentication - provides an improved framework to authenticate the identity of customers making transactions involving their telecommunications service.
The new Code is accompanied by an industry Guideline on anti-fraud measures that is intentionally non-public. Industry participants seeking a copy of the Guideline are to contact Communications Alliance directly email@example.com, to register their contact details and obtain access to the Guideline.
It should be noted, the Code has been submitted to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, but is yet to be considered for registration.
Communications Alliance is pleased to welcome the following new member:
Below is a list of currently open telecommunications-related consultations being conducted by Government and other organisations that provide an opportunity for you to have your say.