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Ombudsman receives more than 7000 complaints in six months about managing telco debts

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has received almost 7500 complaints about managing telco debt in just six months.

A report published by the Ombudsman today shows some providers are failing to assess a customer’s ability to pay, with sales staff focusing on achieving sales more than whether a product is suitable for that consumer.

Ombudsman Judi Jones said while the scale of incidents aren’t on the same scale as some of the behaviour committed by the banks, it’s clear telcos need to improve.

“One of the case studies in the report about Betty, who went in trying to top up her pre-paid plan and came out with two new plans and two new phones, she already owed the company $3500,” Ms Jones said.

“She had limited English and was elderly and on a disability pension.

“We just simply think those sorts of behaviours shouldn’t happen, if you go in to do something with your Telco, you should be able to come out with what you intended.”

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