ISPs getting raw deal with complaints

Customers are getting a raw deal when it comes to complaining about their Internet service providers (ISPs).

ISPs are ignoring industry compliance measures by not advising customers that complaints can be sent to the iIndustry's regulatory Ombudsman. Industry Ombudsman John Pinnock said providers often do not include his details for complaint resolution on account forms.

"Electricity, water and insurance providers commonly give details of industry complaint resolution schemes on their bills or on premium notices, but the Australian telecommunication industry's response has largely been one of denial."

The industry's Complaint Handling Code states that providers must inform clients of the Ombudsman; however, a lack of a compliance regime means that this rarely occurs.

"Only about 16 percent of people who complain to us have been informed about us by their provider," Pinnock said.

When asked about notification on account forms, a Telstra spokesperson was undecided, but did say such details are included in the Yellow Pages directory.

BuddeComm telecommunication analyst Paul Budde said listing the Ombudsman should be standard practice.

"[Not listing the Ombudsman] is bad practice... it makes the industry appear as if it has something to hide" he said.

Pinnock said he would continue to highlight the issue until the industry reformed its behaviour.

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