Telco issues affecting small business are on the rise

By Amy Sarcevic
Thursday, 11 June, 2020

Telco issues affecting small business are on the rise

Telco problems affecting Australian small businesses are on the rise and are having a significant impact on business operations, according to a new report by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

Since 2016, complaints by small businesses have risen to comprise 14.7% of all complaints, with more than 19,000 of them concerning phone and internet services. Many of the issues are described as complex and hard to resolve. They are costly too, with 1100 of the complaints made between September 2019 and March 2020 involving claims for business loss compensation.

Signing up to unsuitable plans, breakdowns in communication when fixing faults and a lack of suitable backup plans when phone and internet services are disrupted were among the most prevalent issues cited.

Ombudsman Judi Jones said the impact of these issues in the aftermath of COVID-19 was likely to be far greater and more pervasive than the report suggests.

“During government restrictions to curb the pandemic, many small businesses became solely reliant on phone and internet services to continue operating,” she said.

“As we begin the return to workplaces, our guidance around working together to fix faults and having a back-up plan may be crucial at this time.”

The report also recommends more consultative transactions, and better ongoing communication and customer service delivery to mitigate the risk of these issues going forward.

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