Telcos still receiving thousands of complaints


Monday, 12 October, 2015


Hires

Consumers made more than 124,000 complaints about mobile, internet and landline services last financial year, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) revealed in its Annual Report for 2014–15.

There had also been an almost 70% increase in the number of nbn-related complaints with the most common issues reported by consumers relating to delays in connections to the network and installation appointments that technicians failed to attend.

“While the numbers of nbn-related complaints are relatively small at 6700, they have a big impact on consumers,” said acting ombudsman Diane Carmody.

“It can be extremely frustrating and inconvenient for consumers when technicians do not show up for scheduled appointments, particularly if the consumer has taken a day off work.

“The challenge for nbn and retail service providers is to ensure the rollout of this highly anticipated technology is a positive experience for consumers.”

While the total number of complaints about telcos dropped 10.5% in 2014–15, Carmody said there was still room for improvement in the telecommunications industry.

“More than 124,000 is a huge number of complaints and shows the telecommunications industry has a long way to go,” she said.

Despite the high numbers, 2014–15 was the fourth consecutive year of decreasing complaints to the Ombudsman, the TIO reported.

Improvements in key problem areas like coverage and excess data charges also saw a 21% decrease in complaints about mobiles, attributed to telco investment in infrastructure and monitoring tools for consumers — which is required by the industry’s Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code.

Mobile complaints dropped to their lowest level since 2007–08.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Robinpd

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