Complaint handling: Do you correctly recognise ‘Urgent Complaints’?

Urgent complaintThe TCP Code has special rules for Urgent Complaints, as defined by the Code.  When ACMA does a complaint handling audit, one of its main interests is whether a telco knows what an ‘Urgent Complaint’ is, and identifies them promptly, and actions them in accordance with the Code timeline and rules.

So what is an Urgent Complaint?

For the purposes of the TCP Code, only three situations constitute ‘Urgent Complaints’:

The Complaint is made by a Customer who has applied for or has been accepted as being in Financial Hardship under that Supplier’s Financial Hardship policy and where the subject matter of the Complaint can reasonably be presumed to directly contribute to or aggravate the Financial Hardship of that Customer.

OR

Disconnection of a service is imminent or has occurred and where due process has not been followed.

OR

It involves a Priority Assistance Customer and the service for which they are receiving Priority Assistance.

Study those.  And make sure that your system for capturing and processing complaints will accurately identify cases that fall into one (or more) of those three categories at the earliest possible time, because they trigger special Code rules.

Your customer care staff need to understand the defined situations that are Urgent.  Your processes need to make sure the issue is dealt with systematically.  When a complaint is Urgent (as defined by the Code) your response must accord with the special Code rules.

What about ‘urgent complaints’?

That’s ‘urgent’ without a capital ‘U’ and ‘C’.  Nothing stops you from choosing to classify other kinds of complaint as ‘urgent’ for your own purposes.  But we suggest that you give that category another name than ‘urgent’ so you can easily distinguish between complaints that are governed by the TCP Code’s ‘Urgent’ rules, and ones that are not.

Want the whole story on complaint handling?

The best way to ensure that your complaint handling is comprehensively Code compliant is via our TCP Code Complaint Handling Checklist. And we offer a template Complaint Handling Process Summary and Guidance Notes.

TCP Code Compliance Checklist - Chapter 8 - Complaint Handling
TCP Code Compliance Checklist - Chapter 8 - Complaint Handling
ACMA has made it clear that Complaint Handling will be a critical enforcement area. Chapter 8 contains about 350 points of compliance, and this expert Checklist is the best way to understand what changes you need to make to keep the customer, and the regulator, satisfied. (GST will be added at the checkout.)
Complaint Handling Summary Template and Notes
Complaint Handling Summary Template and Notes
Here's a template for your Complaint Handling Process Summary together with detailed Guidance Notes on using the template. Complaint handling is a major ACMA concern, so get your processes and website documents in order now. (GST will be added at the checkout.)

About Peter Moon

A telco lawyer with a truckload of experience
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