The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) received 23,000 official complaints about NBN-related connections in the six months to December. This was twice the number received during the same period in 2016, according to the industry report.
Presenting the report, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the record spike would prompt a broad review.
“The TIO’s six-monthly update report shows that the existing model for complaints handling and redress is not working. Customers are continuing to experience poor service, and are unable to get their service provider to satisfactorily resolve issues,” Senator Fifield said.
“The fact that complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman are still high across all types of fixed line and mobile services clearly shows that telcos need to lift their game. I have already directed the CMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) to put in place rules to support a better consumer experience during the NBN transition, including a complaints handling standard. It is now time to look at the effectiveness of consumer protections across the board.”
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Judi Jones said most official complaints about NBN services related to speeds that telcos had promised but could not deliver, and connection delays.
“Services delivered on the NBN make up about 25 per cent of complaints – there was an increase in complaints across the board,” she said.
“The total complaints about the NBN will continue to grow as more consumers receive their services over the NBN.”
Ms Jones said that as many as 10 million Australians were having issues with their phone or internet service. And once complaints had been communicated to the provider, close to one-quarter had not been resolved four months later.
She added that her research indicated that only 12 per cent of people who had serious issues had contacted her office.
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