It’s been more than a year since the Telecommunications (Customer Service Guarantee) Standard 2011 (CSG Standard) was amended.
Since the changes to the CSG Standard came into effect, the TIO has noticed that not all service providers have reviewed their policies and procedures and relevant documentation to ensure that waivers comply with Part Five of the CSG Standard.
Some of the issues we have identified include waivers forming part of a provider’s terms and conditions only, without specific informed consent being obtained from individual customers separately.
It’s important to note that simply relying on general terms and conditions will not achieve compliance with the requirements of section 31 of the CSG Standard.
We have also noted references to outdated versions of the CSG Standard and the absence of mandatory information and statements required to obtain a valid waiver.
Here are some tips to remember when reviewing CSG waivers:
- Certain information must be given to the customer before they provide consent, including, for example, an explanation of the protection and rights afforded under the CSG Standard and a statement that the customer is under no obligation to consent to the waiver
- CSG waivers obtained after 1 October 2011 no longer require a significant service benefit for the customer agreeing to a waiver, and
- Providers must keep a copy of the record of a customer’s waiver for at least two years.
It is also worth remembering that sections 31 and 32 of the CSG Standard differentiate between oral and written waivers. So it might be a good opportunity to review scripts and internal staff information as well.
The CSG Standard is available online: www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2011C00791