ACMA tables new rules to handle NBN complaints

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ACMA tables new rules to handle NBN complaints

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has tabled its first new set of rules for carriage service providers (CSPs) to help improve customer experience when migrating to the NBN.

The communications watchdog today put the call out for feedback on its proposed complaints-handling rules for CSPs.

The new rules in their current form would require CSPs offering services to consumer and small businesses to formerly establish a complaints-handling process that focuses on customer needs and expectations.

The processes must be made freely available to customers and handled by a senior manager within the company. CSPs must also establish processes for monitoring and analysing complaints records to identify any systemic issues, and work to rectify them before they reoccur.

Customers must also be given the right to escalate complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman if the CSP has been given a reasonable opportunity to resolve the complaint.

ACMA has also established a set of rules for maintaining complaints records, which requires CSPs to keep records for at least two years.

The organisation will accept submissions on the proposed rules until 16 April, and expects them to come into effect in June.

ACMA chair Nerida O'Loughlin said the new rules were the first step in ensuring better customer experience when migrating to and using the NBN.

"Telco customers deserve to have their complaints dealt with quickly and effectively. As industry co-regulation is proving ineffective in this area, we will put in place rules so that the ACMA can act more quickly to deal with non-compliance," she said.

"Together, this package will help consumers migrate seamlessly to the new Network—from understanding their choices before they sign up, through to connection and getting help when they need it."

In August last year, the government called ACMA in to review NBN customer experience after a report from the Communications Alliance found that complaints relating to the NBN had reached their highest point in years.

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