ACA targets Telstra over COTs claim

 
Telstra has agreed to cooperate with an Australian Communications Authority (ACA) investigation announced on Monday following allegations that the carrier mislead parliament and the Supreme Court of Victoria over a dispute involving a Brisbane exchange.

Following a request from Communications Minister Senator Richard Alston,

the ACA said it would investigate allegations made by the Nine Network's Sunday program concerning legal action taken against the company by a group known as Casualties of Telecom Services (COTS) in the nineties.

Despite Telstra being forced to pay $16 million to the group's members as compensation following a dispute that ran from 1994 to 1999, one group member, restaurateur Ann Garms, had her claim denied.

Garms claimed poor service from Telecom (as Telstra was then known), which had been preventing calls reaching her business, had only improved after an upgrade of the Fortitude Valley exchange in 1993. Telstra said the exchange had not been upgraded, and Garms was subsequently denied compensation.

The ACA had been asked to investigate whether work done by Telstra to the Fortitude Valley Exchange around September 1993 resulted in enhancements to the service provided to Garms, ACA chairman Tony Shaw said in a statement.

The ACA would also investigate whether documents provided to Sunday related to an upgrade of the Fortitude Valley Exchange, or to the Mitchelton Exchange as claimed by Telstra.

Shaw said he expects to have an answer for the Minister within a week.

“Telstra will fully co-operate with the ACA. Telstra has nothing to hide,” Telstra chief Dr Ziggy Switkowski said in a statement. “Telstra maintains the document at the centre of the allegation does not relate to a major upgrade of the Fortitude Valley exchange,” he said.

Telstra said the original problems, around which the COT group was formed, occurred in the late eighties and nineties and did not reflect the current state of Telstra's service or complaint management processes.


 
 
 
Top Stories
Innovating in the sleepy super industry
There’s little incentive to be on the bleeding edge, so why is Andrew Todd fighting so hard?
 
How technology will unify Toll
The systems headache formed through 15 years of acquisitions.
 
Immigration breached Privacy Act with data leak
Pilgrim slams "copy and paste" of asylum seeker data.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  39%
 
Your insurance company
  3%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  7%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  8%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  20%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  6%
TOTAL VOTES: 816

Vote