ASIC suggests formal IDR complaint recognition of Twitter comments

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has canvassed giving social media comments such as those made on Twitter or Facebook formal complaint status under the internal dispute resolution (IDR) processes required of financial planning firms and superannuation funds.

ASIC had issued a discussion document in which it has not only canvassed the recognition of social media comments, but also an expansion of what represented a complaint to include “expressions of dissatisfaction about staff”.

The discussion paper said ASIC considered the move to be appropriate, “given that long-established patterns in how consumers complain to organisations are changing dramatically”.

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“We consider that as consumers move beyond telephone, email and traditional written mediums, financial firms should:

(a) adopt a proactive approach to identifying complaints made on their social media platform(s); and (b) have processes in place (including appropriate links between media and complaints departments) to deal with these matters through their IDR process,” the discussion paper said.

It said that, at a minimum, ASIC expected that “complaints made on a financial firm’s own social media platform(s) will be dealt with through the firm’s IDR process when the consumer is both identifiable and contactable”.

The discussion paper said ASIC’s own research into consumer experiences with financial IDR processes and consumer research conducted by the Central Bank of Ireland indicated that social media was being used by consumers as a complaints channel to financial firms.

“In addition, more general consumer research in the Australian, UK and US markets strongly indicates that social media is being used by many consumers as a preferred channel for customer service interactions with organisations,” it said. 

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This is positively insane.

The policy thinkers in overdrive simply to justify their positions

Oh yes Mr Pickwhistle of 22 Smith Street Smithfield has had a few drinks after work, gets on facebook and writes, I hate CBA. Please lodge this is a formal complaint, even though Mr P wont remember it the next day and he is using a fake name and address. This stinks of people with way to much time on their hands, if this is what our levy goes to, well I want a refund.

Even the best comedic writers could not make this stuff up.

Is ASIC serious?? - taking seriously all comments on anti-social media. I assume the same will apply to any comments re ASIC that are posted??

This is a great script for a Monty Python movie, though it beggars belief that this item would even get any air time.
What the hell are the regulators thinking, and when will commonsense meet reality.
Seems to me that too many highly paid bureaucrats have far too much time up their sleeves, focussing on agendas that are merely a tax payers waste of money.

The EDR process is explained to clients in meetings, in the FSG and on every website. The reason it is formal is that clients actually need to stop and think what they are complaining about rather than just having a whinge. This is another ASIC Idiot trying to find a problem for the solution they have found. Yes ASIC that comment is a formal complaint!

Can we make complaints about ASIC and APRA?
Can we get compensation if ASIC is wrong?

@asic, you're shiite and I don't like you. Pls now investigate yourself.

I believe a report into ASIC by ASIC has already found that ASIC spends 85% of it's time on internal matters.
ASIC, please investigate as this sounds like a "fee for no service issue".

This has to be a gee-up for sure. Are you serious ASIC.

Next we'll be told that if a CBA car gets an egg thrown at it randomly then it should be reported to ASIC/AFCA as a formal complaint! or is that only if it cracks, if it bounces off without breaking then its not a formal complaint.

Get serious guys.

“In addition, more general consumer research in the Australian, UK and US markets strongly indicates that social media is being used by many consumers as a preferred channel for customer service interactions with organisations,”

Sounds like someone justifying overseas trips to the "UK and US" - complementary Qantas Lounge of course.

Big brother is coming to a place near you. Next, it will be no swearing, and best of all fining people for thoughts. How stupid and draconian has the regulator become? How about ASIC you provide the manual and forms - not guides, the exact and formal way you want us to behave. Can you also include the type of clothes we are to wear, the hours of work, how much exactly we are to charge, the exact information and colours to be used in documents? Why don't you provide the full and exact templates to be used, please don't leave anything out. Let's have it exact. Then no confusion. Make it the same as a tax return and activity statement is completed. The cap on tax deductibility possibly the start of change.

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