Primus welcomes ACMA inquiry into customer service

Responding to this morning’s announcement by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) that it will conduct an inquiry into customer service and complaints handling in the telecommunications industry, Mr Ravi Bhatia, CEO of Primus Telecom, expressed his support for the ACMA led inquiry.

Commenting on the terms of the inquiry, Mr Bhatia stated, “Primus welcomes the inquiry.  The industry has received a bad wrap in recent times, which is disappointing for Primus because we’ve really focussed on customer service as a top priority over the past few years.   For instance in the six months to December 2009 Primus reduced complaint handling issues by 35%.”   

When announcing the inquiry, Mr Chris Chapman, the Chairman of ACMA, also expressed concern about whether the current regulatory arrangements underpinning consumer protection in the industry were effective.   

Mr Bhatia considered now to be an opportune time to conduct a review of the regulatory framework, ahead of deployment of the National Broadband Network.  Mr Bhatia said, ”Primus is happy to assist ACMA with this inquiry and I look forward to working with Mr Chapman to review the regulatory framework.   It’s not clear we have the most effective regulatory framework in place at the moment.  We need to get the mix right.”

Commenting on criticism about the increasing number of complaints in the industry Mr Bhatia noted, “Primus has dedicated significant resources over the past few years and introduced several industry firsts to address complaints, call waiting times and make it easier for customers to deploy complex services in a plug and play manner. ”

Mr Bhatia stated, “At a time when other companies are taking their call centres offshore I’m reminded by this inquiry why we at Primus made the clear decision to keep our call centre and customer service positions on Australian soil.   Service really matters to customers.  That can’t be outsourced and it’s a point of difference we are proud of.”

Asked if he had any advice for those consumers suffering from poor service Mr Bhatia said, “They should not have to put up with it.  Have a look at switching service providers.  There is no justification for people to pay a premium price for poor service.  ”

About Primus Telecom

Primus Telecom is one of Australia’s largest  telecommunications carriers offering a comprehensive range of high speed broadband, data, Internet, web hosting and voice products, servicing both  business and residential sectors.  The Primus network provides nationwide coverage through its own backbone network with facilities in 66 cities and 286 DSLAM exchanges across Australia.  The network enables the Company to provide nationwide long distance services and local call Internet access.  Primus operates its own fibre network in the five major capital cities, delivering a range of business direct-connect services including ISDN, frame relay, ATM, telephone line and broadband DSL, as well as telephone line and broadband DSL services direct to residential customers.