A new report from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has revealed that the telco industry is still not doing enough to help people suffering from financial hardship.
Consumer Action’s David Hofierka says that the report shows that between January and March this year more than 3000 people were not assisted by their telco provider even after the matter was referred to them by the Ombudsman.
“When you look at the results for the issues affecting everyday people, there is an increase in complaints across the board, especially in relation to mobile phones and internet services which are essential to our everyday lives,” Mr Hofierka said.
The report reveals that financial hardship complaints are up and there was a 35% increase in misleading conduct complaints by telco mobile customers. More that 50% of all complaints were in relation to no action or delayed action by telco providers when people had contacted them for assistance.
“This report highlights some of the poor telco practices that our financial counsellors through the National Debt Helpline are seeing every day on the ground. We recently heard from an elderly lady who had her internet disconnected six times because the telco provider kept getting her bill wrong.
“This is yet another report showing telcos are not doing enough under the current regulatory framework which is simply not working. It’s time for Minister Rowland and the Federal Government to introduce direct regulation to ensure people are provided with timely assistance by their telco provider even before a matter has to be escalated further.”
Media contact: Mark Pearce, Media and Communications Adviser, 0413 299 567, firstname.lastname@example.org