Telecoms industry protected from £1m Ofcom penalties with new kit

iCasework, the case management system provider, has launched UsefulFeedback! for Telecoms, the on-demand complaints management system for the telecommunications industry.

The software includes pre-configured applications available for all sectors of the telecommunication industry, including all phone and internet providers, to become and remain compliant with the newest Ofcom requirements in relation to the handling, resolution and reporting of customer complaints.

Following 100,000 complaints regarding poor customer service registered by Ofcom in 2010, from January 22nd 2011, the Telecommunications regulator introduced a single mandatory ‘Code of Practice for Complaints Handling’ with minimum standards for how providers must handle complaints from consumers. The Code of Practice, and the Communications Act 2003 upon which it is based, also gives Ofcom the authority to fine providers who do not manage and resolve complaints up to 10% of their annual turnover.

In brief, the Code of Practice will require telecommunication providers to ensure the fair and timely resolution of complaints, and have procedures in place that are transparent and accessible. The Code of Practice also requires companies to have an IT system in place that allows the logging and tracking of complaints by frontline employees and the effective storage of details of every complaint.

UsefulFeedback! for Telecoms is launched by iCasework as an Ofcom-compliant online complaints management system that structures and records the receipt, allocation and suitable response for complaints and informal feedback received across all customer-facing channels within the business, including monitoring and managing comments posted on social media sites.

Hans Grefte, Product Development Director for UsefulFeedback!, commented: “Since the announcement of the Code of Practice for Complaints Handling, effective management of complaints is now an absolute essential. Simply through repeatedly failing to recognise an inbound grievance and therefore not suitably addressing them, telecommunications companies are opening themselves up to the risk of massive fines and penalties.”

Grefte continued: “A 2010 Ofcom review of consumer complaints procedures led to the discovery that many large telecom providers were only recording complaints if they were received by a complaints team. This obviously prevents a significant proportion of complaints from even being recognised, let alone recorded or resolved. A wider, more encompassing approach to complaints management is therefore essential in the telecommunications industry whereby complaints are reported and tracked from the moment the complaint is made, and not from the point at which the customer finally locates where the complaints team is within a company.”

UsefulFeedback! for Telecoms is deployed as a web-accessible solution, which brings with it the low costs and low risks that cannot be delivered in a standard on-premise deployment. Available on-demand, UsefulFeedback! can easily be integrated with existing systems to provide all the functionality, scalability and security required of an enterprise-level system, yet without the usual high costs or the need for technical specialist knowledge or skills – all that is required for immediate use is web access.

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