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Australia is at a three-year low for TIO complaints

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(Image: Comms Alliance)

The Australian telecommunications industry body Communications Alliance is revelling in a three-year low on its Complaints in Context report.

Measuring complaints per 10,000 services made to Australia’s Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) for the period covering October to December 2018, the report now has a metric of 6. Throughout 2018, the metric fell from a high of 9.3 to its current level.

The order of the telcos measured in the report has stayed consisent, with Optus topping out at 6.9 complaints per 10,000 services, followed by Telstra at 6.6, Vodafone with 3, and Amaysim and Pivotel recording 0.5 each.

“A full year of improvement demonstrates without question that the hard work by telecommunications providers is reaping dividends for customers,” Comms Alliance CEO John Stanton said.

“This has been a multi-faceted effort, and collaboration between industry, government, and regulators has been an important part of this success.”

The TIO escaped from being axed last year, when Part A of the Consumer Safeguards Review, which focused on complaints handling, saw the Australian government decide against abolishing the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

“[There was] near universal support from both consumers, industry, and other industry Ombudsman schemes for EDR [external dispute resolution] in the telecommunications sector to continue being provided by the TIO, but acknowledgement that improvements could be made to the TIO Scheme,” the review said.

“The review suggests that it would be appropriate to implement reforms to the current TIO scheme rather than establish a new EDR body at this time. This approach would see the existing EDR arrangements maintained, but further reformed and enhanced.”

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The TIO received strong industry support during a consultation with the government on whether to axe the Ombudsman scheme.

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ACCAN proposes automatic payments to users for missed appointments and repairs

Under proposals from ACCAN, telcos and NBN would need to automatically compensate users for missing repair deadlines and appointments.

TIO recommends NBN retailers stop losing phone numbers

The TIO has made four recommendations to retail service providers in an effort to prevent them from continually losing consumers’ fixed-line phone numbers during the transition to NBN services.

31 telcos face enforcement action for inadequate complaints processes: ACMA

Following ACMA investigations, 31 telcos face enforcement action for failing to meet the new NBN standards for complaints-handling.

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Here’s What Hackers Are Really Doing With Your Info

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F1 Solutions explains what hackers are really doing with your data: selling it, exposing it, holding it for ransom, mining it for valuable info like credit card numbers, using it for other hacks, or simply showing it off. Some hacks have nothing to do with money; instead, the attackers are out for revenge. Others hack into “unhackable” systems or organizations just to show off or leak data in retaliation for something.

However, most cybercriminals are out for financial gain, and stolen data can contain valuable information. From credentials to credit cards and social security numbers, everything today is stored online. Hacked data is also sold in bulk on the dark web. F1 Solutions says social security numbers can sell for as low as $1, credit or debit cards from 50 cents to $1 per card (they’re often sold in bundles), and Paypal credentials can be worth as much as $200. Driver licenses, digital and physical passports, and even medical information are also sold online.

Ransomware, meanwhile, is a growing trend where hackers usually target small and medium organizations, take control of their systems and data, and then offer the company the chance of recovering their computers once a ransom is paid. Given the rise of blockchain technology, it’s also not surprising to learn that digital wallet credentials and credentials to NFTs sites are also increasingly stolen. Finally, data can be used to steal identities, commit fraud, do more hacking, and even vandalize websites.

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How To Send An Email Draft From Google Docs Directly To Gmail

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Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is arguably the most tightly integrated office productivity suite available. The services it features — Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Form — already interconnect with other apps like Google Meet, Keep, and Drive, and with smart chips, Google Docs now seamlessly links with Gmail. The update makes the two apps more cohesive, allowing you to draft and send your emails without leaving Docs.

Smart chips belong to the Google Smart Canvas project, which is Google’s vision for tying all of its Workspace products together. You can access smart chips by simply typing @ in Docs. In addition to the new email feature, Google offers chips for rapid formatting and quickly attaching files, media, menus, and even calendar events (via Google Blog). You can also collaborate on your email drafts with other people just like you would a regular document. These other users can make suggestions, comments, or edits without hopping to a different window. Plus, Google Docs’ grammar and spelling checker now works on Gmail, too.

How to send a Gmail draft directly from Google Docs

You can draft emails within Google Docs, and when you’re ready, you’re given a preview inside a pop-up window and the option to directly send the message (via Google Support).

  1. Create a new Google Docs file (you can use this shortcut to create new documents quickly).

  2. Type @ and select Email Draft from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can navigate to Insert > Building blocks > Email draft.

  3. You’ll be greeted with the standard template for an email.

  4. In the “To” section, you can use @ to add saved people or type out their email addresses manually.

  5. Write the subject and email message.

  6. Hit the blue Gmail icon floating next to the template.

  7. A small pop-up window will load the Gmail Compose panel with the relevant text fields already filled out. If Gmail doesn’t support your Google Docs font, you might see a related warning.

  8. You can also make additional formatting changes at this point, attach files, insert signatures, schedule the draft to be sent later, or discard it within the Compose Mail pop-up.

  9. Hit send and close the preview window.

Why you should draft an email in Google Docs

Google’s powerful AI grammar and spellcheck tools will help you write strong, clear, and error-free messages. That may not be a big deal if you’re sending a straightforward reply or question, but you should consider drafting your next important email in Google Docs. Long-form emails sometimes require outlines, charts or tables, which can’t be designed in the Gmail Compose window. You can create, integrate, and email those tables, outline menus, and charts directly from Google Docs, saving you the hassle of copying and pasting them back and forth.

Google Docs also saves a copy of the draft; it can be quickly found with search, retrieved, and edited on the fly. The autosave feature should come in handy when sending an email to multiple addresses, as well. Instead of loading a new window for each recipient, you can simply hit the mail button next to the Gmail template every time. For emails that require approval or contribution from your team members, turn on the share feature built into Docs (via Google). You can then collaborate on emails and receive suggestions without leaving the Google Docs window.

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Elon Musk Just Put Up Even More Of His Money To Fund Twitter Takeover

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Musk has at least one reason to pull away from the Twitter purchase: the company’s shareholders are already beginning to push back against him. The board opted against re-electing longtime Musk supporter Egon Durban, who is the co-CEO of Silver Lake, a private equity firm that Musk could potentially have planned to tap for financial assistance in his campaign to build equity towards the Twitter buy.

Noted by Insider, the deal can be terminated at any point before it becomes finalized in October, for a meager $1 billion. Twitter has asserted that the deal will indeed go through at the full price agreed upon by both parties — $54.20 per share — regardless of any reasoning put up by Elon Musk to back away from the deal, or to drive the price down. Regardless, the Twitter purchase debacle hasn’t been good for Elon Musk’s net worth, which is still heavily tied into Tesla stock prices.

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