Blog 9 September 2018

New rules from the ACMA

New rules for ISPs and telcos

Complaints Handling Standard and New Record Keeping Rules
From 1 July 2018 there are new complaints handling and new record keeping rules for telecommunications and internet service providers delivering services to consumers and small businesses.

While there have been rules about complaints management in the past under the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code these new rules are directly enforceable with potentially hefty fines.

The new complaints handling process requires providers to (amongst other things):
  • Have a clear complaints process on their web sites (with rules about how these must work)
  • Ensure their staff are trained in the process
  • Have contact details on the web site for using the complaints process
  • Try to resolve complaints promptly, with best effort to resolve it first go
  • Ensure staff know the options for remedying the problem/s
  • Respond in writing to the complainant

There are even rules about complaints monitoring and analysis processes, procedures and systems. So this standard is very thorough and clearly shows that the government and communications regulators think complaints have been mismanaged and are far too frequent in number.

The second of these standards are the record keeping rules which require that providers must keep records and report them to the ACMA. These records cover broader items such as the number of services that a service provider has and over which types of technologies. In this way, systemic issues by technology type, location and service provider can be identified. Given that it also covers the types of faults which occur, in particular: connection faults, speed problems and other faults within the service, we should get some very granular data in the future.

Pavonis is in the process of developing standard guides to these new processes, so if your organisation needs some help in tightening your complaints processes, get in touch with us. They apply from 1 July 2018.

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