The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is developing a Statement of Expectations (SoE) for the telco industry to guide the way it identifies and responds to customer vulnerability. The SoE sets out goals, outcomes and examples for telcos to adopt in different areas that impact consumers experiencing vulnerability, including customer service, selling and contracting, and disconnection.

ACCAN’s submission strongly supports the goals expressed in the SoE and makes a number of recommendations to expand the scope and improve the effectiveness of the SoE.

ACCAN’s submission recommends that amendments be made to the ACMA’s SoE, including to:

  • Emphasise the need for a deep cultural shift in the telecommunications sector’s response to customer vulnerability.
  • Clarify outcomes and examples with detail to provide practical, best practice guidance and to ensure that industry’s adoption of the SoE is measurable.
  • Outline the need for telcos to publicly report on their performance against SoE goals and outcomes to increase transparency and build consumer confidence.
  • Provide practical guidance on proactively identifying and responding to customer vulnerability.
  • Add guidance around monitoring staff performance and rectifying deficiencies in customer service.
  • Emphasise the need for industry to treat all customers fairly.
  • Acknowledge the intersectional and often structural nature of vulnerability, and expand its list of factors contributing to vulnerability.
  • Add guidance about dispute resolution and credit and debt management.

Download:  docxACCAN Submission on ACMA Vulnerability Statement of Expectations841.31 KB
Download:  pdfACCAN Submission on ACMA Vulnerability Statement of Expectations373.6 KB