Macquarie Telecom chief issues customer service warning to telcos

NBN HFC services could be the ‘tipping point’ for consumer dissatisfaction if telcos aren’t careful

Macquarie Telecom’s CEO, David Tudehope, has warned that the telecommunications industry should not rest on its laurels when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Had Labor won the federal election, the banking industry would have found itself subject to a Royal Commission — the root cause of which was its treatment of customers, Tudehope argued in a presentation prepared for today’s CommsDay Wholesale & Data Centre Summit. The telco industry should take note, the Macquarie Telecom CEO argued.

Despite drops in customer complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the overall level of complaints about telcos compares unfavourably to other industries, in Tudehope’s view.

Tudehope argued that adopting the Net Promoter Score (NPS) of customer satisfaction offered a path forward for the telco industry.

NBN’s launch of hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) services could represent a tipping point, his presentation said.

The first commercial NBN HFC services were launched last month in Queensland. The government-owned company this month signed agreements with construction partners as it begins a full-scale rollout of the technology.

Tudehope’s presentation argued that the NBN’s customer experience will be tested as there has been no prior wholesaling of HFC. As a result, there’s a risk that it could be a tipping point that sees politicians pressured to take action over telco performance.

His recommendation is that the telco industry adopt NPS in a transparent fashion.

Tudehope in December announced that Macquarie Telecom would allow prospective customers to view live feedback from its existing customers. The company publishes its NPS on its home page.

“Every major telco today says they are employing NPS, and make selected claims about their performance, but what value is that to consumers?” Tudehope said at the time. “I say put your number where your mouth is and publish live, like we have done.”

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