Resolution of complaints to telcos will be sped up to within three to 15 working days depending on its complexity, following tightening rules by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said the agency is reviewing the General Consumer Code (GCC), first introduced in 2003, to shorten the timeline for resolving consumer complaints.
The GCC currently states that 90% of complaints must be resolved in 15 working days and 95% within 30 days; or the company could face a fine of up to RM100,000.
He said the new standards are expected to be met by end of the year, with non-complex complaints – activation, change of plan and termination – to be resolved in three working days and complex complaints – fraud, purchases on app stores – should be resolved in 15 days.
"The three day target is a target. It’s not fixed yet and we are working with telcos on what can be achieved," he said.
Asked about the telcos’ performance under the GCC, Al-Ishsal said that 168 compounds were issued in 2018 amounting to RM3.7mil in fines. In the first four months of 2019, 75 compounds amounting to RM2.53mil in fines were issued.
He added that the telcos have been doing well to cut down on complaints, which dropped by 22% from 18,185 in Q4 of last year to 14,182 in Q1 for this year.
He said while most telcos have their own Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to track complaints, MCMC was working to integrate them with its own in order to make the number and nature of complaints public.
During the event, representatives from Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Maxis Bhd, Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, YTL Communications Sdn Bhd, TIME dotCom Berhad and U Mobile Sdn Bhd pledged to improve the industry’s standards.
The representatives' pledge for the sector was to commit to providing transparent, easy channels to make complaints and a prompt, efficient experience. The companies are also to provide a fair and reasonable resolution through investigation under a time frame set by the GCC.
The other points were to comply with the regulations of the Consumer and Multimedia Act 1998 relating to consumer protection; and to strengthen internal procedures that protect customers.