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.
Keeping vulnerable customers connected
Through our Access for Everyone (A4E) program, we help people on low incomes or facing financial hardship to stay connected. Since its inception in 2002, we’ve provided benefits to the value of more than $2 billion and have worked with more than 2,000 community organisations across Australia to deliver these programs. In FY16, the benefit provided to vulnerable customers through our A4E programs was $107 million, a reduction of 16 per cent compared to FY15, largely reflecting a lower take-up of our pensioner discount on fixed-line home phone services as more customers move to bundles.
Around 758,000 pensioners received the discount this year to the value of $86 million, compared to 885,000 people and a value of $101 million in FY15. We provided home phone line rental relief for about 51,000 households and distributed around 95,000 pre-paid payphone and mobile phone calling cards (including Phonecards) and mobile phone recharge cards this year, compared to around 81,000 cards in FY15. Every month we also provided rebates on Telstra bills for around 1,700 customers seeking emergency relief.
Protecting our customers’ data
Our customers trust us to protect their privacy and keep their data secure, and we continue to work diligently to respect this trust. Our priority is to ensure we keep customers’ personal information safe and secure, and that we’re transparent in the way we manage this information.
We are committed to managing privacy risks as technology, and the way we use it, continues to evolve. We continue to implement privacy controls throughout our business and supply chain to improve the protection of our customers’ personal information. We have in place comprehensive security and network controls, business-wide policies and procedures, a network of business based privacy officers and mandatory training for all employees.
This year the Federal Government’s Data Retention Scheme came into effect, requiring Telstra and all other internet service providers to collect and store customer data for two years, and make it available upon lawful request. The Attorney General’s Department has given us until early 2017 to implement the scheme and we will be using this time to make sure we have the right protections in place.
Telstra’s Transparency Report aims to give our customers more information about our legal obligations as a telecommunications carrier. Like all telecommunications companies that provide services in Australia, we are required by law to assist Australian Government agencies for defined purposes, such as investigating and solving crimes. We also provide assistance to emergency services agencies in response to life-threatening situations and Triple Zero emergency calls.
We take protecting customer data very seriously and scrutinise any requests we receive from law enforcement agencies to ensure we only comply with lawful requests. Between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016, Telstra received and acted on 92,882 requests for customer information.
We want to empower people to participate safely in the online world and provide the networks, products, services and advice that make it easy to do so.
This year we continued to build awareness and knowledge around cyber safety issues in the community. We delivered face-to-face cyber safety presentations to more than 2,700 children, teenagers and parents.
We also refreshed our cyber safety website with new resources available for children and young people, and a new section on personal mobile safety, along with our existing suite of cyber safety tips and information.