Issue No 9: 18 April 2019



Hot Topics
  • ACOMMS 2019: 15 August 2019 - Register here


Follow Us on Twitter here facebook Like us on Facebook here


Visit the 2018 ACOMMS photo gallery here and highlights video here. And see the 2018 winners here.


Telecommunications Complaints in Context, January-March 2019

The most recent Complaints in Context report showed a year-on-year reduction in the ratio of telecommunications consumer complaints in the first three months of 2019, compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

Complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) as a proportion of services in operation (SIO) for service providers who participate in the report increased to 7.5 complaints per 10,000 services for the period January – March 2019, but remained the lowest rate for the January - March quarter since 2016.

The full report, including participant ratios, can be found here.

“The January to March quarter typically sees a seasonal higher level of complaints following the Christmas period, and we are glad to see that the level of complaints this year remains lower than in the two preceding years,” Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton commented.

“Some of our members have reported that the latest result has been influenced by adverse weather events and natural disasters. Nonetheless, we acknowledge there is more work to be done by all players in the supply chain to ensure a positive experience for Australian telecommunications consumers, including during transition from one network to another.

“The proposed upcoming registration of a revised and strengthened Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code by the industry regulator will provide additional consumer protections and an expanded Complaints in Context report, driving continued improvements through the co-regulatory system.”

Complaints in Context is a quarterly report published by Communications Alliance with complaints data provided by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. This quarter and previous reports can be found here

Statement on latest Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Complaints Data

Comments by Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton on the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Complaints Data for July to December 2018.

“Industry welcomes the latest TIO update, showing that the significant falls in complaint volumes, which began in February 2018, were sustained throughout the whole calendar year of 2018.

“But these latest results do not represent “job done”, by any means. Industry recognises that there are still challenges to overcome and that we are still in the middle of an accelerating national network rollout – with multiple partners in the supply chain - that inevitably generates a degree of disruption and a level of customer complaints.

“We look forward to the upcoming registration of the improved and strengthened Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code, as an additional tool to help generate further sustained improvements in customer experience. We also welcome the TIO’s proposed transition to quarterly reporting as this will provide ongoing and timely information on issues that consumers may be experiencing.” 

Feedback Sought on Stronger Mobile Premium Services Code

A stronger Mobile Premium Services Code (MPS) for the telecommunications sector has been released for public comment by Communications Alliance.

The revised code is designed to further strengthen consumer protections in the area of mobile premium services and premium direct billing – services that consumers can purchase from third parties and that are billed through their telecoms provider.

Key changes to the MPS Code include:

  • the inclusion of premium direct billing services in all rules relating to advertising, information provision and supply of the service, complaint handling and mechanisms to unsubscribe and opt-out of such services;
  • a new default monthly spend limit of $50 for all new customers to assist consumers with their spend management and to avoid the possibility of ‘bill shock’, while still allowing for a limited number of one-off purchases and charitable giving via SMS. Existing and new customers continue to have the ability to set their own spend limits for such purchases;
  • an obligation for telecoms providers that include third party charges on a customer’s bill to address all enquiries and resolve all complaints they receive relating to those charges, directly with their customer; and
  • strengthened obligations to ensure consumers are informed on how to bar premium services.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said: “the 2019 revision of the MPS Code is yet another step taken by our industry to strengthen consumer safeguards and to improve the experience for consumers who want to take advantage of the large variety of services that the communications industry has to offer.”

Following the public comment period, the MPS Code Working Committee will review all comments and revise the draft as appropriate. Subsequently, Communications Alliance will submit the revised Code to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for consideration for registration. The current MPS Code remains in force until the revised Code is registered by the ACMA.

The draft revised Code and information on submitting comments can be found here.

The public comment period closes on 15 May 2019.

Communications Alliance seeking review comments on G630:2006 Accessibility of Payphones Industry Guideline

Communications Alliance is seeking comments for a scheduled review of the following Guideline:

G630:2006 Accessibility of Payphones Industry Guideline.

This Guideline is for use by payphone providers and telecommunications equipment suppliers and is intended to provide guidance in the design and provision of payphones to:
(a) maximise accessibility for people with a disability, such as consideration of the handset design, mounting height and siting,etc.;
(b) ensure sufficient flexibility so as not to inhibit the overall provision of public and private payphones;
(c) provide guidance to payphone operators in meeting their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992; and
(d) have regard to overseas requirements in the design and provision of payphones.

The aim of the review is to identify any existing issues with the Guideline;

  • whether any process improvement is required, from operational experience in dealing with the Guideline;
  • any gaps in the Guideline;
  • clarifications that improve requirements;
  • whether the document is meeting the needs of industry and the community satisfactorily;
  • expected impact of technology changes; and
  • whether a need exists to amend, reconfirm or withdraw the Guideline.

The Guideline can be downloaded from here.

Further information can be found on the Documents under review webpage.

All submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. (AEST) on Friday 17 May 2019.

We welcome your feedback on our newsletter.

Contact Tel: (61) 2 9959 9111