Friday, June 03, 2011

Reconnecting the Customer - draft report

The ACMA this week released its draft report from the Reconnecting the Customer inquiry. They are to be congratulated on a very good report.

In particular the research that identifies the paradox between satisfaction with service but ot service provider draws the important line in the sand punctures the repeated claims by some in industry that the claims of widespread dissatisfaction are wrong.

The extensive treatment given to the information asymmetry problem and the explanation of why competition won’t fix it is another highlight of the report. I'm disappointed that the DigEcon Research submission that made these points didn’t get cited (in fact the draft makes no reference to the submissions on the progress report).

I wouldn’t be me without identifying what I think are a few shortcomings.

The first two relate to the reports recommendations on advertising and “unit pricing”. A code that prohibits something isn’t going to fix the language problem. Similarly there are too many components of a phone bill to really apply unit pricing. An alternative to both of these was made in the discussions of advertising and pricing in the submission I made to the TCP Code.

My second gripe is the failure to recognise that omplaints/customer is an ineffective measure. I outlined why in the second DigEcon submission. The good news is that there are successful techniques to get around this.

I have further issues with the way the ACMA represents how it regulates, the role of self-regulation and co-regulation and whether it has sufficient powers. But I don't want to detract from what is, overall, a very good report.

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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