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Complaints to the TIO about landline, mobile and internet services continue to rise

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Australian consumers and small businesses made 84,914 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) in the last half of 2017 –  an increase of 28.7 per cent compared to the previous year.

In its Six Monthly update, the TIO said complaints about landline, mobile and Internet services were on the rise.

The NBN was also hit pretty hard with complaints about services delivered over the network increasing by 203.9 per cent to 22,827 over the same period in 2016.

“The telecommunications industry in Australia continues to experience significant change,” says Ombudsman Judi Jones.

“An increasing range of products and services are being offered to consumers, expectations for the quality of phone and internet services are high, and the rollout of the National Broadband Network is changing the way we use telecommunications services.
“However, consumers still seem to be facing the same problems, particularly with their bills and the customer service they receive.

“Confidence in services being updated or transferred reliably, faulty equipment, and poor service quality were also recorded as key issues.

“Additionally, the wider issues relating to phone or internet problems such as debt management are concerning.”

Landline, mobile, internet, multiple services and property

Complaints for the period increased 28.7 per cent compared to the same six month period in 2016.

– 9,447 complaints (11.1 per cent) were recorded about landline phone services

– 24,923 complaints (29.4 per cent) were recorded about mobile phone services

– 23,785 complaints (28 per cent) were recorded about internet services

– 26,112 complaints (30.8 per cent) were recorded about multiple services*

– 647 complaints (0.8 per cent) were recorded about property*

– Charges and fees, unsatisfactory response from the provider (provider response), and poor service quality were the most common issues

Complaints from Small Businesses

Between 1 July and 31 December 2017 complaints from small businesses increased 15.6 per cent to 9,947 compared to the same period in 2016.

– Complaints from Small Businesses accounted for 11.7 per cent of total complaints for the period

– 2,178 complaints (21.9 per cent) were recorded about landline phone services

– 2,074 complaints (20.9 per cent) were recorded about mobile phone services

– 1,716 complaints (17.3 per cent) were recorded about internet services

– 3,937 complaints (39.6 per cent) were recorded about multiple services*

– 42 complaints (0.4 per cent) were recorded about property

– The main issues affecting small businesses were charges and fees, unsatisfactory response from the provider (provider response), and no service.

Complaints by State

All states and territories in Australia saw a growth in complaints in the last six months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

Queensland recorded the biggest increase in complaints of 39.3 per cent, followed by Western Australia with 36.5 per cent.
– Australian Capital Territory made 1,184 complaints, an increase of 11 per cent

– New South Wales made 26,914 complaints, an increase of 27.9 per cent

– Northern Territory made 504 complaints, an increase of 20 per cent

– Queensland made 16,418 complaints, an increase of 39.3 per cent

– South Australia made 6,552 complaints, an increase of 22.7 per cent

– Tasmania made 1,614 complaints, an increase of 33.1 per cent

– Victoria made 23,954 complaints, an increase of 30.5 per cent

– Western Australia made 7,381 complaints, an increase of 36.5 per cent

– The main issues affecting Australian states and territories were charges and fees, unsatisfactory response from the provider (provider response), and poor service quality.

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Services delivered over the National Broadband Network

Complaints about services delivered over the NBN increased 203.9 per cent to 22,827 on the same period in 2016.

– 14,055 complaints were recorded about service quality

– 8,757 complaints were recorded about delays in establishing a connection

– The main issues affecting residential consumers and small businesses were unsatisfactory response from the provider (provider response), poor service quality, and connecting a service (connection/changing provider).

“Complaints about services delivered over the National Broadband Network continued to increase compared to the same six month period in 2016,” said Ombudsman Jones.

“This indicates the consumer experience is still not meeting expectations for all.

“Recent changes to regulation and an increase in our powers to resolve complaints are positive steps that will help improve the consumer experience.”