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ACMA Cracks Down On Telco Complaint Handling

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has cracked down on the complaints handling process of local telcos, with 31 facing enforceable action for breaching new rules.

An ACMA investigation scrutinised 41 telcos to assess their compliance with new laws, effective 1 July 2018.

The new rules require telcos to maintain an appropriately documented complaints-handling process for all customers.

The ACMA has issued formal warnings to 27 telcos, and remedial directions to the following 4:

The four telcos are urged to fix deficiencies by 19 December 2018, or risk serious financial penalties (up to $10 million).

In an investigation of 41 telcos, only 7 were found to not be in breach of new rules.

The ACMA has lead 3 telcos to undertake comprehensive remediation, moving into full compliance during the investigation process.

The process saw 27 telcos take positive steps to remediate, whilst 4 took inadequate steps to remediate (above).


ACMA Chair, Nerida O’Loughlin, affirms a documented complaints-handling process for all customers should be “standard practice” for every telco.

“Consumers should know how their telco will deal with their complaint. They should also have confidence that their complaint will be dealt with effectively, without ‘buck-passing’ across the service supply chain.”

O’Loughlin asserts effective complaints handling is especially crucial amid the migration of customers to the NBN.

“The ACMA has put in place a comprehensive set of rules to ensure the telco industry lifts its game in complaints-handling,” adds O’Loughlin.

“We are now moving to enforce those rules.”

Further information is available on the ACMA’s website here.

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