Some 1100 small businesses have made claims to telcos for business loss compensation between September 2019 to March 2020, a report from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has revealed.
Financial losses caused by telco issues was just one of many complaints made by Australian small businesses over the past year.
The report said small businesses also complained about being signing up to unsuitable plans, breakdowns in communication when fixing faults, and lack of a suitable backup plan when phone and internet services are disrupted.
The proportion of complaints from SMBs to the TIO had also been increasing steadily since 2016, with 14.7 percent of complaints (19,000) were from small businesses at the end of the last financial year.
Ombudsman Judi Jones said “We carried out this investigation before the devastating bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to so many small businesses. While the top complaint issues reported to us by small businesses are so far unchanged, the impact of these issues may very well be greater.
“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.
“During government restrictions to curb the pandemic, many small businesses became solely reliant on phone and internet services to continue operating. 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.”