ACMA to require telcos to disclose customer service commitments

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ACMA to require telcos to disclose customer service commitments

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is proposing new rules for telcos to disclose their customer service commitments like rebates or backup modems in case there’s a fault.

Telcos will also be required to make sure their customers would benefit from NBN Co’s recently announced rebate scheme on wholesale service performance, where customers will be compensated for missed appointments and other inconveniences. ACMA’s new rules will require the rebates to be passed to the affected customers either in monetary form or in kind.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the proposed new rules aim to empower consumers to choose a telco based on factors other than price and drive improvements to customer service.

The agency cited its own research, where it found that while price was important to many consumers, non-price factors like issues and faults being fixed or good customer service were more important overall.

ACMA said telcos are currently not required to publish their customer service commitments and the remedies they will provide if they are not met.

“These new rules will require telcos offering fixed broadband services to be transparent about their service commitments and remedies they are providing their customers, and report on their performance against these,” O’Loughlin said.

“The commitments from telcos will provide useful information for consumers to help them choose their preferred provider and decide whether they want to stay with them over time.”

The ACMA has also opened a consultation process on the proposed rules, which are found on the agency’s website. Feedback is accepted until 9 December 2020 and the rules are expected to be in place in “early 2021”.

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