TIO Sees Rise In Small Business Complaints

Complaining to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) is always a good move if you’ve got a problem with your phone company or internet service provider (ISP) and they refuse to resolve it. While the process for fixing problems for consumers has improved, complaints from small business customers continue to rise.

Picture by Lazurite

In 2010-2011, the TIO dealt with 22,000 complaints from small businesses, a rise of 52 per cent on the year before. While that’s only a small fraction of the complaints received from consumers (48,100 between October and December 2011 alone), it’s still a poor number. The most common issues were incorrect advice about products, terrible reception and failure to fix identified issues.

While the TIO can’t handle complaints from large businesses, it will consider issues raised by businesses with less than 20 employees, or an annual turnover of under $3 million.

Complaint levels to the TIO dropped 6 per cent in the most recent quarter, and investigations dropped 73 per cent. (The TIO always encourages providers to resolve a problem without requiring a formal investigation.)

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