The Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) as an industry body designated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in developing and implementing the General Consumer Code of Practice for the Communications and Multimedia Industry Malaysia (GCC) believes that consumer complaints would be promptly and efficiently managed through the Consumer First Pledge signed by the country's major telecommunications company recently.
CFM said it recorded a 33% increase in complaints from users on various communications and multimedia issues in 2018 compared to the previous year. It received 6,330 last year and 4,746 in 2017, and claims it resolved 88% of complaints in fewer than 15 days with the help of service providers.
Complaints on cellular service remain the highest from year to year with 2,513 complaints received last year, while complaints on high-speed broadband (HSBB) recorded the highest increase.
Through the pledge, service providers will be committed to providing a better quality of service and consumer experience as well as to comply with the guidelines in the GCC. The GCC is a code of practice with guidelines and best practices that all communications and multimedia service providers in Malaysia must comply with to ensure that fair and efficient services are provided to consumers.
Furthermore, GCC encompasses of Rules of the Code such as packaging of services, pricing information, customer rights of redress, customer obligations including protection of personal information and complaints handling.
“The Consumer-First Pledge signed by the service providers is a commendable action that is aligned with the review of the GCC by CFM to ensure the relevancy of the code with today’s rapid changes in the communications and multimedia industry while protecting consumers’ right,” said CFM Chairman, Mohamad Yusrizal Dato’ Yusoff.
Mohamad Yusrizal Dato’ Yusoff, Chairman of CFM
(Image courtesy of cfm.my)
The GCC is crucial to be reviewed to ensure consumer rights in the communications and multimedia industry are protected optimally and to address the gaps between current consumer-related issues with the existing GCC.
In the review of the code, telecommunications companies and consumer associations including professionals and legal experts discussed the improvements that need to be made in the GCC so that the best outcomes can be obtained for both parties.
Among the new guidelines in the GCC improvements is the timeframe for resolution of complaints is shortened into three business days for less complex complaints, while 15 business days for complex complaints. In the current GCC, the timeframe for resolution is
90% of the complaint should be resolved within 15 business days and 95% of the complaints be resolved within 30 business days. To ensure that the new code is transparent and engages all relevant stakeholders, consumers’ will have the opportunity to participate in reviewing the GCC by contributing opinions and feedbacks during the public consultation process that is extended to the general public. Meanwhile, should a consumer have any complaints or suggestions; they can submit it to CFM.
CFM Chairman added, “CFM has always collaborated with the industry so that consumers are prioritized and we will continue to monitor the services provided to consumers and address any GCC violations.
The revised code will also tighten the guidelines in advertising and sales aspects to avoid misleading consumers. Through these clauses, service providers will be more responsible for their sales, marketing and promotional activities.
As a consumer forum, CFM provides information to the public through articles, videos and infographics to provide awareness to consumers on the importance of self-regulation. CFM believes that if consumers are well informed as well as aware of their role and rights, many issues can be dealt with easily or even avoided. Consumers can visit the CFM portal at http://www.consumerinfo.my/ to get more information and tips for their reference.
The commitment from the service providers through the Consumer First Pledge and the review of the GCC will provide the best outcome for the industry that will benefit both consumers and service providers.
Pursuing the consumer agenda, CFM takes note that consumers continue to discuss the current state of broadband in Malaysia extensively on various platforms particularly on social media.
With this in mind, CFM will be organizing a dialogue session with the service providers on Wednesday, 3 July 2019 to discuss industry challenges in Malaysia's broadband landscape and what can consumers expect in the near future. This dialogue forum is open to the public and attendance via online registration and free of charge.