The massive reduction in complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) concerning Mobile Premium Services (MPS) shows that industry codes can be effective in improving customer service and complaint handling in the telecommunications industry, Communications Alliance said today.
The TIO Annual Report documents a reduction of more than 70% in complaints about MPS during 2009-10, compared to the previous year – a sustained trend which saw complaints fall even further in the September quarter of 2010.
The sharp fall in complaints followed the introduction of the Communications Alliance Mobile Premium Services Code, which was developed in cooperation with consumer groups, industry representatives and regulators.
“This encouraging result shows that well-constructed self-regulatory industry codes can and do work,” Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said.
“In fact the MPS Code is presently being further revised and improved by a Communications Alliance working group that includes consumer representatives, and I am confident that once completed, the new Code will help to generate even better customer service and further falls in customer complaints.
“The success of the MPS Code augurs well for the current revision of the Communications Alliance Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code.
“The TCP Code, once improved and strengthened, including stronger compliance provisions, will be capable of generating real and positive improvements in customer service and compliant handling across the industry.”
Mr Stanton welcomed the overall reduction in complaints to the TIO in the past year.
“Total complaints to the TIO in the Sept 09 quarter were 61,248. By the June 2010 quarter that number had fallen to 46,887 - a reduction of 23.44%.”
Mr Stanton said the industry recognised that complaint volumes to the TIO were still too high.
“The complaint volumes in part reflect the growth of overall services in the Australian market and the relative complexity of some of the newer offerings.
“However, the industry is committed to continuing to improve its performance and ensure that Australian consumers can enjoy world-class products and services from their providers,” Mr Stanton commented.
ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the peak body for the Australian communications industry. Through a range of successful programs, events and initiatives, Communications Alliance has a leadership role in facilitating industry-based solutions to sectoral issues and is taking steps to bring to fruition the broadband and digital era, including leading the industry’s involvement in the National Broadband Network implementation. For further information visit www.commsalliance.com.au