Telco complaints fall, issue complexity rises

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Telco complaints fall, issue complexity rises

Australian residents and small businesses complained less about their internet services, but the issues they complain about have become more complex, according to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

The TIO released its annual report for the year from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, which revealed that 132,387 complaints were made to the Ombudsman, down 21.1 percent from the prior year.

However, 53 percent of complaints that escalated to the TIO went unresolved for 60 days, compared to 23 percent in 2017-18.

Ombudsman Judi Jones said the decline in complaints was good news, but the number of unresolved issues was indicative of the increasing complexity of technical and small business issues.

“Some measures we have taken to address this are the formation of specialist teams to handle these escalated complaints, and working closely with the phone and internet providers to better understand the barriers to resolving these issues,” said Jones.

The TIO records complaints stemming from three types of services: internet, mobile and landline, along with the most common types of complaints.

Complaints about internet services overtook mobile services this year, accounting for 43,164 complaints, compared to 40,193 for mobile.

The most complained-about issue for all service types was service and equipment fees, followed by no action or delays, internet quality, and difficulty establishing an internet service.

While overall complaints were down across the board, small business complaints saw a 6.2 percent decrease to 19,165, though the top issue was no action or delays, followed by service and equipment fees.

The TIO also noted that there were 23,362 complaints about the service quality of the NBN, rising from 2.1 per 1000 premises in the first half of the year to 2.5 in the second half.

You download the TIO’s full report here.

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