Complaints about telecommunications services have seen an increase among small businesses in the past quarter, according to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
In its latest complaints report, TIO found complaints from small businesses increased 28 percent in the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year to 5,527 complaints, which also comprised 16 percent of overall complaints for the period.
Complaints from small businesses also increased across phone, internet and landline, but the most complaints were recorded under “multiple services”, meaning the complaints involved more than one service type with a single provider.
The problems small businesses faced also increased, with complaints about being unable to contact their provider and business loss compensation increased 47 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
Ombudsman Judi Jones said the increase in complaints from small businesses is “concerning”, citing economic recovery efforts while navigating COVID-19.
“I have said before the relationship between small businesses and their providers is vital to the businesses’ ongoing success. Any issues between a small business and their provider in the delivery of a service can have significant consequences and I urge the parties to work together on solutions,” Jones said.
“For the third quarter in a row we are seeing incremental growth in overall complaints. We are continuing to share the insights learned from our data with the telcos to improve the consumer experience.”
Overall, internet services remained the most complained-about service type, although the volume of complaints were down overall.
On a per-provider basis, complaints from the top ten decreased in number except for Telstra, Boost and Southern Phone. Telstra saw its complaints increase 27 percent from Q4 last financial year.