We are committed to creating a brilliant connected future for our customers.
Digital technologies and enhanced connectivity have transformed the way we live and connect. It is now more important than ever for us to deliver brilliant customer experiences.
To achieve this, we must put the customer at the centre of everything we do.
Through our Access for Everyone program, we help people on a low income or facing financial hardship to stay connected. Since its inception in 2002, we’ve provided benefits to the value of more than $2 billion, by working with more than 2,000 community organisations across Australia to deliver these programs. In FY15, the benefit provided was $128.8 million, a reduction of 11 per cent compared to FY14, largely reflecting a lower take up of our pensioner discount on fixed-line home phone services as more customers are moving to bundles. Around 885,000 pensioners received the discount this year, compared to 980,000 in FY14. We also provided home phone line rental relief for around 74,500 households and distributed around 72,500 pre-paid calling cards. Every month we also provided rebates on Telstra bills for around 2,000 customers seeking emergency relief.
This year we launched a new accessibility portal that assists people with disability to identify the mobile communications products and services that best suit their needs. A world first for a telecommunications company, the portal assists customers by letting them search for features that may assist specific disabilities such as speech, vision, cognitive and dexterity impairment. To find out more, visit https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/find-accessible-devices.
Managing usage charges
We are committed to providing our customers with more value and the confidence that they will not encounter unexpected usage charges. This year we became the first telco in Australia to make calls from mobiles to 1800 numbers free of charge. We were also the first to introduce real time mobile data usage alerts for our post-paid mobile customers when they reach 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their included monthly data allowance.
Privacy and data protection
Millions of people trust us to protect their privacy and keep their data secure and we continue to work diligently every day to honour this trust. We take customer privacy and data security very seriously. Our priority is making sure we keep personal information safe and secure, as well as listening and responding to the concerns of our customers, particularly as the way in which we communicate with them continues to change. We continue to invest in controls to protect the privacy of our customers and be transparent in the way we manage this information.
This year we continued to build on our commitment to transparency, introducing new measures aimed at providing our customers with a greater understanding of, and access to the data we hold. In a first for the Australian telecommunications industry, we now offer customers the same access to their metadata as we are required to offer to law enforcement agencies without a warrant (subject to certain conditions). This new approach is aimed at providing our customers with a clearer picture of the data we provide in response to lawful requests. To find out more, visit https://www.telstra.com.au/privacy/customer-access. It builds upon our Transparency Report, which outlines our legal obligation to assist national security and law enforcement agencies, as well as the types of law enforcement requests we receive each year.
The importance of our efforts to protect our customer and corporate data was underscored when, shortly after we completed our acquisition of Pacnet Limited in April 2015, we were advised that Pacnet’s corporate IT network had been accessed by an unauthorised third party. We took immediate action to investigate and respond to the breach, including addressing the security vulnerability and putting in place additional monitoring and incident response capabilities. We also took active steps to notify employees, customers and relevant regulators around the world of the breach. The Pacnet corporate IT network remains isolated from Telstra’s IT systems and we have found no evidence of any activity related to this incident on Telstra’s networks.
We want people to participate safely in the online world by providing the networks, products and services that make it easy to do so. This year we introduced a number of new consumer products including Telstra Broadband Protect and Telstra Mobile Protect to help our customers stay safely connected. We are committed to providing consumers with the information they need to have a positive online experience. To access our free cyber safety materials, visit www.telstra.com/cybersafety.