AUSTRALIAN E-MARKETING CODE OF PRACTICE - DEVELOPED BY THIS ACA ENDORSED COMMITTEE

			Date: December 2004

		D	CODE OF PRACTICE - COMPLAINTS HANDLING

	INDEX

12	Complaints Handling
a	Scope
b	Complaint Handling Systems
c	Record of Complaints
d	Complaints received by Message Originators and Message Service Providers
e	Complaints received by the Australian Communications Authority
f	Recognised Industry Bodies - Complaint handling
g	Compliance Monitoring by the ACA

RUBAC Electronic Information Management Methodology  - Copyright of Hamme Family Trust


12	Complaints Handling

a	Scope

12.1 	This part outlines the procedure that applies when handling Complaints 
	(See Section F, Guideline 11) relating to alleged breaches of this Code.

b	Complaint Handling Systems

12.2 	Message Originators and Message Service Providers must have in place a Complaint handling 
	system (i.e. internal procedure for dealing with Complaints) which is fair, effective, 
	confidential and easy to use by the complainant (See Section F, Guideline 12).

12.3 	As outlined at Section D, subclause 7.1.2 (g), Message Originators and Message Service 
	Providers must make details of their Complaint handling process accessible within each 
	Commercial Communication.

12.4 	Message Originators and Message Service Providers must ensure that the Contact 
	Mechanisms by which a complainant can lodge a Complaint are not charged at a rate that 
	exceeds the standard rate for that Contact Mechanism.

c	Record of Complaints - (See Section F, Guideline 13)

12.5 	Message Originators and Message Service Providers handling Complaints relating to this Code
	must keep records of:

	12.5.1 	the name and contact details of the Recipient or Relevant Electronic Account 
		Authority making the Complaint;

	12.5.2 	the nature of the Complaint;

	12.5.3 	whether the Complaint has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Recipient or 
		Relevant Electronic Account Authority;

	12.5.4 	the date the Complaint was lodged and the time taken to resolve the Complaint; 
		and

	12.5.5 	remedial action taken (where appropriate).

12.6 	Message Originators and Message Service Providers must maintain these records in an auditable
	form for a period of 12 months.

12.7 	Where requested by a Recognised Industry Body, the Message Originator or Message Service 
	Provider must submit a summary of the number and type of Complaints (containing no 
	personal information about the Complainant) received during the past 12 months or shorter 
	period specified by the Recognised Industry Body.

12.8 	Where requested by the ACA, Recognised Industry Bodies must submit a summary of information
	received under clause 12.7 to the ACA. 

	The summary must not identify specific Message Originators or Message Service Providers.

d	Complaints received by Message Originators and Message Service Providers

12.9 	Message Originators and Message Service Providers must acknowledge Complaints within five 
	working days of their receipt.

12.10 	When acknowledging receipt of Complaints, Message Originators and Message Service
	Providers must inform the complainant that the Complaint will (with the consent of the
	complainant) be referred to the ACA should the complainant be dissatisfied with the resolution
	or the process at any stage.

12.11 	Message Originators and Message Service Providers must take appropriate action to resolve 
	Complaints concerning any activities covered by this Code. 

	Complaints should be resolved within 28 days of receipt of the Complaint from the 
	complainant.

	Where resolution of the Complaint is expected to exceed 28 days, the Recipient or
	Relevant Electronic Account Authority must be informed of the likely timeframe for
	resolution prior to 28 days elapsing.

e	Complaints received by the Australian Communications Authority

12.12 	Where the ACA receives a Complaint relating to an alleged breach of the Code, the ACA's
	policy is to provide the complainant with the option of addressing the Complaint directly 
	with the relevant Message Originator or Message Service Provider in the first instance 
	by the process described at clauses 12.9-12.11.

12.13 	Where the complainant agrees to lodge the Complaint with the relevant Message Originator 
	or Message Service Provider in the first instance, the ACA's policy is to inform the 
	complainant that the Complaint (at the complainants request) can be referred back to 
	the ACA if the complainant is not satisfied with the resolution or the process employed 
	by the Message Originator or Message Service Provider.

12.14 	Where the complainant wishes to lodge a Complaint directly with the ACA (either following or 
	instead of action by the Message Originator or Message Service Provider), the ACA's policy
	is to assess the Complaint and take one of the following actions:

	12.14.1 	Where the Complaint:

			a	is of a serious or systemic nature; or

			b	relates to a Message Originator or Message Service Provider that 
				is not a signatory to the Code or is a signatory to the Code and 
				has not nominated a Recognised Industry Body of which it is a 
				member to refer the Complaint;

			the ACA's policy is to deal with the Complaint internally through the 
			existing ACA Complaints handling procedure.

	12.14.2 	Where the Complaint relates to a Message Originator or Message Service 
			Provider who is a signatory to the Code and is a member of a Recognised 
			Industry Body which it has nominated to investigate Complaints, the ACA's
			policy is to refer the Complaint (with the consent of the complainant)
			to the Recognised Industry Body for resolution in accordance with
			clauses 12.16 - 12.24.

12.15 	The ACA has nominated a number of Recognised Industry Bodies to investigate Complaints 
	relating to its members. 

	The ACA's criteria for these Bodies are outlined in the attached Schedule 
	(See Section H).

	A list of Recognised Industry Bodies is available at the ACA website at
	www.aca.gov.au

f	Recognised Industry Bodies - Complaint handling

12.16 	Where a Complaint has been referred to a Recognised Industry Body in accordance with 
	subclause 12.14.2 above, the Recognised Industry Body must:

	12.6.1 	Write to the Message Originator or Message Service Provider within 10 days of
		receiving the Complaint from the ACA:

	a	outlining the grounds for Complaint and particulars of the issues raised in the 
		Complaint or enclosing a copy of the Complaint received; and

	b	requesting a written response to the issues raised in the Complaint within 14 days.

12.17 	If the Message Originator or Message Service Provider fails to provide a written response 
	within 14 days, the Recognised Industry Body must refer the Complaint to the ACA and advise
	the complainant in writing that the Complaint has been referred.

12.18 	If within 14 days the Message Originator or Message Service Provider provides clear evidence 
	of acting in compliance with the Code, the Recognised Industry Body will take no further 
	action and advise the complainant in writing of the reason(s) why no further action will 
	be taken. 

	The Recognised Industry Body will provide a copy of this advice to the ACA. 

	The complainant must be offered the option to request that the ACA review the Complaint.

12.19 	If within 14 days the Message Originator or Message Service Provider provides clear evidence
	of having independently resolved the Complaint to the satisfaction of the complainant, 
	the Recognised Industry Body will confirm to the complainant in writing that the
	Complaint has been resolved. 

	The Recognised Industry Body will provide a copy of this advice to the ACA.

12.20 	If within 14 days the Message Originator or Message Service Provider's response indicates 
	a breach of the Code, the Recognised Industry Body shall request that the Message Originator
	or Message Service Provider to submit a written undertaking to the Recognised
	Industry Body outlining:

	12.20.1 	the remedial action that will be taken in respect of the Complaint;

	12.20.2 	the remedial action that will be taken to ensure that a breach of the Code 
			provision(s) does not recur; and

	12.20.3 	the timeframe for implementation, being no longer than 10 days.

12.21 	The Recognised Industry Body must confirm to the ACA and the complainant that the 
	remedial action taken in accordance with clause 12.20 above has:

	12.21.1 	been implemented within the time frame; and

	12.21.2 	has been implemented to the satisfaction of the Recognised
			Industry Body.

12.22	Where the Message Originator or Message Service Provider fails to submit a written 
	undertaking or does not implement the remedial action in accordance with clause 12.21
	above to the satisfaction of the Recognised Industry Body, the Recognised Industry Body
	must (with the consent of the complainant) refer the Complaint to the ACA.

12.23 	The Recognised Industry Body must provide the ACA with a written report relating to the
	Complaint within 28 days of the Complaint being referred to it by the ACA. 

	The report must clearly outline:

	12.23.1 	the decision reached by the Recognised Industry Body and the reasons 
			for the decision;

	12.23.2 	the action taken by the Recognised Industry Body to resolve the 
			Complaint;

	12.23.3 	whether the Complaint has been resolved to the satisfaction
			of the complainant; and

	12.23.4 	whether the complainant would like the ACA to review the decision.

12.24 	The Recognised Industry Body must inform complainants of their right to refer their 
	Complaint to the ACA.

g	Compliance Monitoring by the ACA

12.25 	Upon registration of this Code by the ACA, it will be possible for the ACA to use its 
	powers in relation to industry codes to warn or direct any Message Originator or Message 
	Service Provider as defined at Section B, clause 1.2.2 and clause 1.2.3 to comply with 
	the mandatory Code rules outlined in Section D. 

	The ACA will monitor the eMarketing industry's performance against the Code rules and may
	require any Message Originator or Message Service Provider whose compliance appears to be 
	inadequate to address any process problems or difficulties.

























Revised: S: 20:03 Sat 2004/11/06 Syd 2089
F: 20:34 Sat 2004/11/06 Syd 2089
Who: sgg
Authorised: sgg
Created: 09:45 Tue 13/06/2000 Syd 2065
By: kmb
Revision: 3a4h1.002
Original Page: 3a4h
Change date:
Who:
Authorised: