Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (“EMRA”) has introduced service standards for call centres run by electricity distribution companies and appointed supply companies which provide 24/7 services to consumers. Among other things, the standards set maximum waiting times for callers, as well as require all transactions and conversations to be recorded and stored for a certain period.

Decision numbered 6507-6 was issued on 29 September 2016 and published in Official Gazette number 29865 on 22 October 2016, entering into force on the same day.

Accordingly, call centres for electricity distribution companies and appointed supply companies, which are established to receive consumer objections and complaints or provide information, must now meet the following criteria:

  • Call centres which have interactive voice response systems must:
    • Allow connection to an operator within maximum 45 seconds, via the primary and sub-menu system.
    • Automatically connect callers to an operator if the caller has not connected to any other option after two minutes.
    • Advertisements, announcements and information are included when calculating the time limits noted above.
  • Complaints must be classified according to their headings and frequencies.
  • A tracking number must be created for each application and must be notified to the caller by the interactive voice response and/or operator.
  • Call centres must respond to users via e-mail, telephone, SMS or in writing, according to the user’s request, as well as record the date and content of feedback.
  • Calls made to or from call centres must be recorded.
  • All transactions performed through call centres must be recorded.
  • Work orders created for objections and complaints to call centres must be recorded.
  • All data and information recorded in call centre systems must be irrevocable.
  • All records must be kept in a directly accessible way for one year and stored in backup units for five years. This includes all transactions and records regarding calls made to call centres, voice records and authorizations, updates, as well as changes to the menu or announcements.

Electricity distribution companies and appointed supply companies must open their call centres to accredited entities within the next year, to assess whether the call centres have met the required qualifications and are operated in accordance with the new standards. The assessment will also address whether reports drafted by call centres are accurate. Companies must submit the evaluation report to EMRA by the end of March of each following year. 

Please see this link for the full text of the Decision (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.