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Opposition welcomes Australian Communications Authority investigation of Telstra's poor customer service.

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Media Statement

Stephen Smith MP

Member for Perth

Shadow Minister for Communications


Monday 27 th September 1999





Shadow Minister for Communi cations, Stephen Smith, today welcomed the decision by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) to investigate Telstra’s poor customer service performance following the release by the ACA of the Telecommunications Performance Monitoring Bulletin for the June 1999 Quarter.


The Performance Monitoring Bulletin reported a continuing decline in Telstra service levels.


“Of particular concern is the continued decline of Telstra service levels in rural and remote areas, which have been evident since the Government commenced Telstra privatisation in 1997,” Mr Smith said.


“For example, only 42% of the connection of new services in major rural areas without infrastructure in the Northern Territory and 47% of the connection of new services in major rural areas without infrastructure in Tasmania were met within the Customer Service Guarantee standard timeframe,” he said.


“The decline in service levels is not confined to remote areas — the Bulletin reports that nationally, only 63% of all new connections requested in urban areas without infrastructure were connected within the one month CSG timeframe. In major rural areas, only 56% of new connections requested in areas without infrastructure were met within the one month timeframe.”


“As well, payphone fault clearance times have increased to an average of 42 hours, and 18% of all payphones failed serviceability requirements during this period,” Mr Smith said.


“The Opposition welcomes the decision of the ACA to investigate these matters, made under legislative provisions supported by the Opposition earlier this year,” Mr Smith stated.


“After the Senate regrettably passed legislation in June of this year allowing the further privatisation of Telstra, I said that Telstra should now just get on with improving its service levels. The ACA decision today reinforces that message to Telstra — just get on with it.”


Media contact: Patrick Bindon (02) 6277 4108 or 0418 694 878



al  1999-09-29  18:47