The number of complaints about telecommunications services in Australia decreased in the latter part of the reporting period. This downward trend is good news for Australian residential consumers and small businesses, and for the telecommunications sector.
Changes made in 2017–18 included the ACCC’s work on speed claims (including speed monitoring and enforceable undertakings), the Minister’s roundtable with nbn co and retail providers, retail providers’ increased focus on prevention and resolution of complaints, the ACMA’s complaint handling standard and recordkeeping rules and NBN Co’s pricing changes. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has also made preparations to introduce a new funding model and complaint handling process.
2017 also saw an independent review of the Ombudsman, in which the reviewers recognised the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s role and success in contributing to better consumer outcomes in the telecommunications industry. The reviewers noted there is a high level of support for the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman from most stakeholder groups and recognised the various challenges of operating as a high volume complaint resolution service in a complex and fast moving industry.