27 February 2018
In response to requests from the industry, the Info-communications Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) has extended the deadline for submitting feedback to the public consultation on the proposed mechanics of the Telecommunication and Subscription TV Mediation-Adjudication Scheme (“Scheme”) from 28 February 2018 to 21 March 2018. The public consultation commenced on 17 January 2018.
The Scheme aims to give consumers access to an alternative platform to resolve disputes with their telecommunication and/or media service providers (“service providers”) in a fair, affordable, and effective manner, while incentivising faster resolution by the service providers. Such alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) schemes are already common in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia. As the Scheme is intended to supplement, not replace, the existing complaint channels provided by service providers, consumers are encouraged to approach their service providers first to resolve the dispute before escalating it to the ADR body that is appointed by IMDA to administer the dispute resolution scheme.
The Scheme will involve a two-stage process, with mediation as a first phase, and adjudication as the second phase if necessary. Mediation sessions will be conducted face-to-face while adjudication will be based on document reviews. For consumers who consider there to be little prospect of reaching an amicable settlement through mediation, IMDA is considering whether consumers should be provided with the option to go straight to adjudication.