Media Advisory Public Hearing In Townsville ACMA's Reconnecting The Customer Inquiry

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5th November 2010, 04:49pm - Views: 4124

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Media Advisory—Public hearing

in Townsville

What: Public hearing—part of the ACMA’s Reconnecting the Customer

public inquiry 

When: Monday 8 November from 09.30am until.12.30pm

Where: Riverway Arts Centre 20 Village Boulevard, Thuringowa Central

As part of its Reconnecting the Customer public inquiry into customer service and complaints-

handling in the Australian telecommunications industry, the Australian Communications and

Media Authority is holding a public hearing in Townsville, one of a number being held around


The hearings will consist of a series of verbal submissions—with Q and A— from industry,

consumer organisations and individuals.

In Townsville this includes:

Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE

Atwood Marshall Lawyers

Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN)

Townsville Community Legal Service

Office of Fair Trading

Townsville Multicultural Support Group Inc

Townsville City Council

Observers have also been encouraged to attend.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: 

Donald Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980, 0418 86 1766 or 

Amy Cassanet, Communications Adviser on (03) 9963 6965 or

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Public inquiry

In 2007–08, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) identified customer service

related issues as the leading source of complaints by consumers for the first time. In 2008–09,

while complaints about billing issues generated the highest number of complaint issues overall,

complaints about customer service issues were the second highest, increasing by 72 per cent.

For the same period, the growth rate for complaints-handling issues was the highest at 130 per


This rise in complaints occurred against a backdrop of an increasingly convergent and complex

telecommunications environment for consumers.

The ACMA is undertaking the Reconnecting the Customer public inquiry largely in response to

these matters. 

The ACMA’s Reconnecting the Customer strategy is intended to materially improve customer

service and complaint related outcomes for Australian telecommunications consumers. The

strategy has three key elements:

Public inquiry

Review of industry’s Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP


Regulator’s forum 

The scope of the public inquiry

The inquiry will address four main areas:

Are there systemic problems in the Australian telecommunications sector with respect to the way

it deals with its customers?

If there are problems, what are the causes?

What are the potential solutions to any problems?

What is the best strategy going forward for addressing customer service and complaints-handling

issues in the converging communications environment?

Contributors to the public hearings are invited to address these questions or relevant, related

matters of customer service in the telecommunications industry. More information about the

scope of the enquiry can be found in the Reconnecting the Customer consultation paper,

available on the ACMA website.

Public hearings 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is holding public hearings in October and

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