Telco Customer Complaint Numbers Remain Low
Australia's telcos have maintained record-low complaint rates according to the latest Complaints-in-Context Report, released today by Communications Alliance.
The Complaints in Context Report details the complaints received by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) per 10,000 SIOs, creating an index that allows comparison of the customer service and complaint handing performance of providers, regardless of their size.
The report shows an average of one complaint for every 2,703 services in operation (SIO) in the January to March 2023 quarter, or 3.7 complaints per 10,000 services.
Under co-regulatory arrangements, participation in the Complaints in Context Report is mandatory for the 10 telco providers identified by the TIO as having the largest (absolute) number of phone and internet complaints in the previous financial year. Telcos may also participate voluntarily.
Commenting on the results, Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said,
“It is pleasing to see a sustained focus on customer service, with complaint numbers remaining low.
When mandatory participation in Complaints in Context reporting was introduced in the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code in 2019, the intent was to increase transparency and competition in this space by providing meaningful, comparable complaints data.
“Obviously the index is only one driver of competition in this space and there is, of course, always room for improvement. But we are delighted that this TCP Code provision appears to be driving improved customer service, as intended.”
More information about complaints-in-context reporting is available here. The TCP Code, which is in the early stages of review, can be found here, with details of the review and revision process here.
Communications Alliance encourages any RSP interested in joining the index to contact it (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cross-Industry Initiative to Provide One-Off $7.75 million boost for Financial Counselling Services
Australia’s financial counselling services will receive a $7.75 million boost following a donation from a group of organisations from across the banking, finance, insurance, energy, telecommunications and online gambling sectors.
The donation will help the Financial Counselling Foundation deliver a series of important initiatives to support victims of family violence, those at risk of homelessness and First Nations communities.
Australian Banking Association Chief Executive Officer Anna Bligh, speaking on behalf of the contributors, said the funding will provide significant assistance.
“The important work carried out by the Financial Counselling Foundation, and the groups they have determined to receive these grants, is to be highly commended,” Ms Bligh said.
“They are making a real, positive impact on the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable people.”
Financial Counselling Foundation Chairperson, George Brouwer, welcomed the donation and said it will help support a series of important initiatives.
“The $7.75 million will enable the Foundation to provide additional support to existing grants that are expiring and to implement new projects identified as worthy through our priority assessment and grants-based process,” Mr Brouwer said.
“Our current funding priorities include projects to support victims of family violence, tenants at risk of homelessness, First Nations communities and people in prison.”
A portion of the donation will be used to support the extension of 10 family violence financial counsellors for a further two years. These positions, overseen by the Family Violence Financial Counselling Agency, are located nationally in predominantly community legal centres to support women who have experienced family violence.
The donation will also allow the Foundation to look at new initiatives. Mr Brouwer said.
“As a result of the contribution, the Financial Counselling Foundation can consider the possibility of a national initiative, in response to research completed by Thriving Communities Partnership, to fund financial counsellors to work within the prison environment and with different cohorts,” he said.
Organisations that are contributing to the donation:
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
Aussie Broadband Limited
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
Bank of Queensland
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Credit Corp Group Limited
Macquarie Bank Limited
MyState Bank Limited
National Australia Bank
The Hollard Insurance Company
TPG Telecom Limited
Westpac Banking Corporation
Planning radio spectrum priorities for the year
The ACMA consults on its spectrum management priorities each year through the Five-Year Spectrum Outlook (FYSO) and annual work program.
The Communications Alliance Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) provided a submission to the ACMA consultation indicating that this is one of the most valuable spectrum planning initiatives the ACMA has embarked on, noting that it is facing a considerable challenge in accommodating the increasingly diverse and often conflicting demands for finite spectrum resources in its spectrum management program. The submission points to the need to ensure spectrum of sufficient quantity and quality is available to satellite operators, being essential to realising the public benefits of satellite services to Australia. Rapid satellite network deployments and recent advances in spacecrafts and service performance will enable satellite technologies to cater to even broader market demand in the future.
More specifically, from a policy perspective, the submission notes that satellite services can provide immediate support to delivering the Government’s communications objectives relating to ‘Closing the Gap’ and enhanced regional connectivity and development. Areas affecting affect satellite interests that are covered include for the ACMA to:
- maintain a position for WRC 23 agenda items that are supportive of satellite services.
- move the 13 GHz and 40/46/47 GHz bands to the initial investigation stage.
- progress the review of the 1.5 GHz band and the Extended MSS L-band to the preliminary replanning stage.
- recognise the importance of 7 – 24 GHz for satellite services.
- undertake planning to extend the ACMA’s existing self-coordinated light-licencing framework for the 70/80 GHz band to support the early introduction of satcom services in this band in Australia.
- not introduce ‘interference protection pricing’ to satellite receiver apparatus licences.
Communications Alliance is pleased to welcome the following new members:
BAI Communications is a world leader in shared communications infrastructure, pioneering the future of advanced connectivity, and delivering the ubiquitous coverage that can transform lives, power business ambitions and shape the future of our cities.
From SMS and WhatsApp to multi-channel mobile journeys, Esendex helps deliver business messaging that puts the power in your customers’ hands. Create conversation and true engagement with customer-led communications.
Red Oxygen for over 20 years has been providing SMS solutions, Red Oxygen continues to be the easiest way to send SMS/text from a computer to any mobile device, not just smartphones. With their out-of-the-box solutions our clients can message individuals or entire distribution lists of contacts.
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.