TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY WELCOMES WORK TO SUPPORT CONSUMERS IMPACTED BY FAMILY VIOLENCE
Sydney, 9 December 2020 -The telecommunications industry welcomes the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s publication of their research into assisting consumers impacted by family violence.
“Family violence impacts far too many Australians, and all industries and individuals have a role to play to help keep people safe. Telecommunications services are vital to keeping people connected, and there are steps telcos can take to support consumers,” said Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton.
“In 2018, Communications Alliance published the Assisting Consumers Experiencing Domestic and Family Violence Guideline, and we are currently working with industry and consumer advocates to update and expand that Guideline. The work the TIO has done in this space is valuable and the recommendations they have made align closely with the improvements we are making to our Guideline.”
The Guideline includes recommendations on staff training, changing account procedures to increase safety, and assisting customers experiencing financial hardship, among others. It prioritises empowering consumers by informing them of their options and checking with them how they wish to proceed, as every circumstance is unique.
“Many telcos have gone above and beyond developing staff training and innovative processes to support impacted consumers and keep them safe, and we are working across the industry to ensure all telcos are enabled to put the right systems, processes and training in place to help consumers,” Mr Stanton said.
“Along with the TIO, we emphasise the importance for telcos to prioritise a consumer’s safety at all times,” Mr Stanton concluded.
The TIO’s report included the following tips for consumers and telcos, which Communications Alliance supports:
If you need support because you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, call 1800 RESPECT. You can also find resources about technology safety and technology facilitated abuse at https://techsafety.org.au or at the eSafety Commissioner’s website: Domestic and family violence | eSafety Commissioner.
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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