Telstra falls short on priority assistance
Telstra has entered a court-enforceable undertaking with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) after failing to comply with its priority assistance obligations.
The telco’s carrier licence conditions require it to provide priority assistance – an enhanced level of service – to customers who have a life-threatening medical condition.
The ACMA said an investigation found Telstra did not send “priority assistance application forms and/or required additional information on more than 260 occasions to customers who had made contact to enquire about priority assistance”.
It also did not initiate emergency medical request procedures for two customers, which can ensure a phone is fixed quickly or an alternative means of contact is provided.
“Some of these customers were having problems with their Telstra fixed line service at the same time as dealing with significant medical issues,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said in a statement.
“These are some of Telstra’s most vulnerable customers and the telco must have adequate systems in place to make sure these important obligations are always met.”
Telstra also reported an additional 740 “other instances where it was unable to locate records of whether priority assistance paperwork was sent,” the ACMA added.
The telco will implement new systems and increase monitoring of priority assistance requests as a result.