Research Publications

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Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) commissioned research on how consumers experience their billing arrangements. 

This research has found that some of the payment options that are offered by telecommunications providers to their customers are not suitable for people in vulnerable circumstances.

Some of the key findings of the research include: 

Communications affordability is an important issue, especially with many consumers facing cost of living pressures and rising costs of telecommunications services.

ACCAN conducted a survey through Ipsos’ Digital Omnibus survey in March 2023 to better understand consumers’ experiences with communications affordability. This survey sought the views of 1,000 respondents from a variety of age groups, locations, and incomes.

It found:

ACCAN recently commissioned research asking the Australian public about their top concerns when it comes to their communications services.

We surveyed nearly 1000 (n=998) Australians on a range of topics. We asked people about the affordability and reliability of their communications services, their use and trust of public wi-fi, their TV viewing habits and what they do to keep themselves safe on social media, messaging apps and other digital platforms. The results show that in 2022, Australians expect a communications market that is trusted, inclusive, accessible and available for all.

New research from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has revealed that almost three in four Australians agree that it needs to be easier to make a complaint and to get their issues resolved when dealing with digital platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, eBay, and Service NSW.

A nationally representative survey of 1,000 Australians conducted by the peak body for communications consumers using Ipsos’ Digital Omnibus online survey found that 74% of respondents think that it needs to be easier for people to make a complaint, and 78% think that it needs to be easier for people to get their issues resolved on digital platforms. Digital platforms were defined as websites and apps such as social media, Government online services, job search sites, dating apps, messaging apps and online marketplaces. ACCAN’s polling also shows that 60% of Australians feel there’s not much they can do when something goes wrong online. 

ACCAN commissioned research assessing the effectiveness of programs and offers being provided by the telecommunications industry to assist low income households and individuals with the affordability of their telecommunications services.

The research encompassed surveys and interviews with community organisations involved in delivering some of the programs, community organisations who work with low income individuals and households, and low income individuals themselves – both those that have received programs and offers from telcos and those that haven’t.

ACCAN is deeply concerned about the inadequacy of existing government programs supporting improved communications infrastructure in remote Indigenous communities (RICs). These communities are among the most disadvantaged and digitally disengaged in the country.

The pre-existing digital divide has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 lockdown. While there has been an accelerated take up of digital services such as videoconferencing, remote server access, and telehealth for those with access and skills, communities that are disconnected are at a much greater disadvantage at this time. Very few remote Indigenous people have the option of home schooling, working from home, or accessing basic services online. Most RICs have restricted all non-essential movement due to the high risks associated with COVID infection, increasing the need for remote access to services, including health, education, Centrelink, MyGov, justice, banking and so on. However, with an estimated 30% of remote and very remote Indigenous people without household access to telephony or internet, and many Shire/Council offices, schools and other service centres closed, some essential services have not been available to many remote Indigenous people.

In response to consumers experiencing long wait times and other significant customer service issues when contacting their telecommunications providers.

ACCAN commissioned Synergies Economics to develop a model to estimate the cost of consumer time that is spent trying to resolve issues with their telecommunications provider.

To extend this work, ACCAN has commissioned Colmar Brunton to collect data for use in the economic modelling prepared.

A new report released by ACCAN today delves into young people’s experiences and issues with accessing and using phone and internet services.

We know that for many young people, phone and internet services are vital for work, study, accessing services and keeping connected with family and friends.

Our research focused on:

Last year, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) commissioned research into the quality of live captions on Free-to-Air TV. We commissioned this research after receiving feedback from consumers and our members about the quality of live captions on TV.

ACCAN often hears stories from consumers spending hours waiting and trying to resolve problems with telcos (eg on the phone, in shops, or via chat windows). We know that all this time has a value to consumers but what is the cost?

A new report released from ACCAN provides advice on how to estimate the cost of consumer wait time.

Young woman upset over billA new report released today by Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), shows that telco customer service representatives are being encouraged to focus on selling over service, potentially exposing consumers to questionable selling practices.

Rental report image

ACCAN has observed a lower proportion of fixed Internet service uptake in rented households, as well as reports relating to barriers about access to this type of service. These barriers are often due to the imbalance of power between renters and landlords.

This is a concern for ACCAN, who have raised questions around the proportion of rented households who have deliberately chosen mobile services for their home.