ACMA - Financial Counsellor insights on telco financial hardship programs

Written on the 23 September 2020 by SAFCA

Would you like to have your say about telco financial hardship programs by participating in research for the ACMA?

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA), an independent Commonwealth statutory authority that regulates telcos in Australia, will be conducting one-on-one research interviews by phone with financial counsellors around Australia.

This research will assist in providing insights into telco financial hardship programs and how they are working for financial counsellors and their clients. They are keen to hear a range of experiences and views, and your suggestions. Those who complete an interview will be given a $100 e-gift card to compensate for their time.

Do you fit the criteria?

  • You currently work as a financial counsellor in Australia


  • You have worked with at least one client who was in a telco financial hardship program in the 2019/20 financial year.

There is no required knowledge and there are no wrong answers! 

They are keen to hear a range of experiences and views.

It will all be confidential and the information you provide will only be used by the ACMA to help provide some real-life examples to complement the information collected from telcos on financial hardship.

What will it involve?

The interviews will be conducted by phone between late September and early October 2020, by ACMA Senior Researcher Karen Chesterton.

Interviews will be scheduled at a time convenient to you and are expected to take around 45 minutes. In addition to the $100 e-gift card, the ACMA will cover the cost of the phone call.

During the interview you will be asked your views on telco financial hardship programs policies how they work for you and your clients, and any suggestions you have for improvements.

Will the ACMA report on the interview results?

The ACMA will publish a short snapshot report with a range of views and examples included so that it adds some real-life experiences to the data they collect.

It will all be de-identified and completely anonymous. The ACMA will not report any of your details, or your clients, and will not hand them over to the telcos or any other organisation. It all complies with the Privacy Act.

The ACMA is aiming to recruit participants ASAP.

If you are interested in participating what do you do next?

Places are limited, so if you would like to participate or if you have any queries, please contact ACMA's Karen Chesterton to schedule an interview. Karen can be contacted by email

In your response email to the ACMA, they have asked if you could also please indicate:

  • how long you have been a financial counsellor, and
  • the city/town and state you're located in.




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