Telstra agreed to implement new systems to address deficiencies that results in failing to comply with priority assistance obligations, ensuring vulnerable customers are provided with the required information and can easily register for a service.
Under a court-enforceable undertaking agreed to by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the operator increased the monitoring of staff handling priority assistance communications to ensure they follow the correct steps.
As a condition of its operating licence, Telstra is required to provide priority assistance to customers with life-threatening medical conditions and, once identified, have systems in place to provide them with additional levels of service.
The ACMA can initiate court proceedings if Telstra fails to comply with the conditions of the undertaking.
An investigation by the telecoms regulator found Telstra failed to send priority assistance applications and the required additional information on more than 260 occasions.
In addition to the ACMA’s findings, Telstra reported 740 other cases where it was unable to locate records of whether priority assistance paperwork was sent.
The undertaking comes nine months after ACMA introduced rules requiring operators to better tailor their customer interactions to deal with vulnerable subscribers.
In November 2022, ACMA ordered Telstra to comply with consumer protection rules after an investigation found its breached financial hardship rules.