Aussie Telcos Face New Customer Service Penalties From October

If you're a business, delays in getting your phone services connected or fixed costs money. If you're a regular customer, it's still a pain in the arse. Minister for Communications, Stephen Conroy, says a new Customer Service Guarantee will set "timeframes to be met by providers for the connection, fault repair, and keeping of appointments."

The plan is that if big telcos -- those offering at least 100,000 such services nationally -- don't meet timelines in at least 90 per cent of cases, then the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will slap them with a fine. The maximum penalty will be finalised after public consultation, but could be as high as $2 million.

Senator Conroy believes the new measures "will promote consistency and provide incentives for service providers to improve performance, especially in rural and remote areas.” Hopefully the times they set will remain consumer focused and not just lip service. We'll wait and see. [dbcde.gov.au]