ACMA releases audit results for telco compliance with complaints-handling rules for small business customers

The ACMA has completed an audit into telco compliance with complaints-handling rules in relation to small business customers.

The audit was conducted after previous ACMA research in 2020 revealed 46 per cent of businesses that made complaints to their telco were not satisfied with the way their complaint was handled.

The audit required eight telcos to each assess up to 600 complaints they received from small business customers between June and November 2021 against the complaint response time requirements of the Complaints Handling Standard.

Overall, the results were positive and did not suggest there were underlying systemic compliance issues with the complaint response-time requirements. Compliance rates across the telcos ranged from 91 per cent to 100 per cent, with five of the eight telcos reporting a compliance rate above 95 per cent.

All telcos had documented complaints-handling processes informing customers about the ways in which they can contact the telco to make and monitor the progress of a complaint.

As a result of the audit, the ACMA will be encouraging telcos to more actively monitor and analyse their complaint records to identify potential issues and problems, to prevent related complaints from recurring.

Complaints Handling Standard rules require telcos to:

  • Acknowledge complaints received via email, website and recorded telephone message within two working days of receiving the complaint.
  • Confirm a proposed resolution of a non-urgent complaint within 15 working days of receiving the complaint.
  • Implement a proposed resolution that was accepted by the consumer within two working days of receiving an urgent complaint, or 10 working days for non-urgent complaints.

The ACMA will follow up with the respective telcos regarding any issues identified through the audit.

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