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ACA report shows Telstra directory assistance fails to assist.



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MEDIA RELEASE

LINDSAY TANNER MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

ACA REPORT SHOWS TELSTRA DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE FAILS TO ASSIST

The latest ACA telecommunications report has shown Telstra’s directory assistance performance has deteriorated.

Having introduced annoying automated answering systems, slashed staff and closed call centres around regional Australia, Telstra’s directory assistance performance has deteriorated with 7% of calls not answered within the specified time frame.

The outsourcing of much of Telstra’s directory assistance appears to have led to a deterioration in the assistance on offer. In some instances Telstra’s directory assistance is failing to assist.

When reporting faults to Telstra around 23% of customers are not being answered within the specified time frame. Nearly 5% of callers are hanging up without being answered.

The ACA report also reveals that the Northern Territory Top End has the largest number of Telstra services with faults. This shows there are still serious problems with phone faults in some areas of regional Australia.

Telstra’s urban fault rectification also remains patchy with 13% of phone faults not fixed on time.

Labor is very concerned about consumer practices in the telecommunications industry. Only last week the Australian Communications Authority formally warned Telstra about misleading advertising practices.

Labor is developing a ‘fair-phones’ policy to ensure that consumer rights are not trampled upon in the telecommunications industry. The Howard Government is refusing to act on these problems.

March 31, 2003

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner or Peter van Vliet on (03) 9347 5000 or 0408 188 055.