Telco complaints increased last quarter

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 29 January, 2018

Telco complaints increased last quarter

Complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman increased in the December quarter to 8.7 per 10,000 services in operation, according to telecommunications industry body the Communications Alliance.

The proportion of complaints increase from 8.3 in the previous quarter but fell below the recent high point of 9 complaints per 10,000 services in operation recorded in the June quarter.

Optus again topped the charts among the major providers with 10.6 complaints per 10,000 services, followed by Telstra with 9.2 and Vodafone with 4.9.

“This result shows the ongoing challenges the industry is facing,” Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said.

“Industry will continue developing and implementing initiatives to improve the customer experience, and is coordinating with the ACMA on their recently announced measures to improve the nbn consumer experience.”

The TIO’s most recent annual report shows that customer service is the most complained about telecoms issue, accounting for 76,932 complaints during 2016–17. This was followed by billing and payments (66,142), faults (57,723), complaint handling processes (49,268), contracts (30,731) and connection delays or other issues (25,604).

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Judi Jones told Fairfax Media that for telecoms customers, reconnecting to a residential broadband services can be a “difficult, protracted and error-ridden process” that “needs to be made as simple as switching energy provider”.

Some operators indicate timelines of up to 20 working days to reconnect phone and broadband connections while moving house.

Jones also said that around 15% of all complaints are typically related to services over the nbn, and noted that this proportion will increase as the nbn rollout continues.

But the TIO’s figures also show that telco complaints have fallen 43% over the last five years, primarily due to efforts by mobile providers to eradicate bill shock.

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