Calls for changes to telco industry

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released a report today (September 9) that calls on telecommunications companies to improve their customer service due to high levels of complaints.

It cites poor interaction as a contributor of increased costs to consumers and the industry at large.

In an interesting twist, ACMA has found that whilst customers are generally unhappy with levels of customer care, they are satisfied with the services being provided.

Effectively, consumers are largely happy with the actual product - be it phone reception or internet speed - however problems emerge when it comes to communication between consumers and companies regarding customer care.

The report states: "The way in which the telecommunications industry in Australia deals with its customers must change, and change immediately."

ACMA attributes the lack of significant market incentives as a leading cause of companies being reluctant to improve poor customer care, as many customer simply don't act and think to compare phone plans.

The authority also shares growing concern over the situation with the impending arrival of the National Broadband Network.

"It is important that benchmarks, particularly for what should be basic consumer issues like the proper handling of complaints, are established now to avoid the mistakes of the past continuing into the future," ACMA states.