Phone and internet complaints go through the roof

Complaints about landline phones, mobile phones and internet services increased by 6.2 per cent in the past financial year, with consumers making 167,831 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s (TIO) 2017/18 Annual Report published today showed that the No.1 complaint, accounting for 34.1 per cent of all complaints, related to inaction by a service provider to resolve phone or internet issues.

The second biggest concern related to disputed charges for service or equipment fees (25.5 per cent of all complaints), with delays connecting to or changing service third on the list (12.8 per cent).

Despite the number of complaints growing in the past financial year, Telecommunication Ombudsman Judi Jones said the number of complaints seemed to be turning a corner with complaints dropping by 17.8 per cent in the final quarter of the financial year.

“Declining complaints across all landline, mobile and internet services are a positive indicator of recent industry, government and regulator efforts to address the disruption to telecommunications products and services of the past few years,” Ms Jones said.

“We all want to get to the same point: a positive consumer experience where expectations are more likely to be met.

“The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman continues to be committed to reducing complaints, and our purpose and unique role remains clear – to ensure residential consumers and small businesses have access to a free, fair, independent and effective alternative dispute resolution service.”

Overall, the rate of complaints from people connecting to the national broadband network (NBN) dropped marginally in the second half of the past financial year.

In all, 14,589 complaints about establishing a connection to the National Broadband Network (NBN) were recorded in 2017/18. Between 1 January and 30 June, complaints per 1000 premises added to the NBN decreased from 9.2 to 9.0.

Queensland recorded the highest growth in complaints, an increase of 13.2 per cent, followed by Western Australia with 10.7 per cent.

The highest proportion of complaints came from New South Wales with 31.6 per cent, followed by Victoria with 28.4 per cent.

Of the top 10 phone and internet service providers, MyRepublic performed worst, receiving 1816 complaints, a year-on-year increase of 101.6 per cent. On the other side of the ledger, iiNet received 7719 complaints, which represented a year-on-year decrease of 24.1 per cent.

Have you ever had cause to complain to the TIO? Which service provider do you use? Are you happy with their performance?

Written by Ben

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