The number of total complaints received by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) in the period between January and March this year fell substantially, but data complaints relating to billing are on the sharp upswing.
In the January-March period, the TIO received 36,256 complaints, down 9.4 per cent year on year, but an increase of 8.7 per cent over the previous quarter. Maybe we were all too busy chowing down on mince pies to complain?
In any case, the big emerging trend is that excess data usage complaints are the new hot thing — or at least the new thing to get hot under the collar about. One out of every 5 complaints made in the quarter related to billing and payments was about excess mobile data charges, an increase of 30 per cent.
As the TIO's quarterly publication, TIO Talks notes, the ACMA reports that the average monthly mobile usage in Australia is 2GB, but the CSIRO suggests that more than half of us are on plans that offer 1GB or less per month. That does rather suggest a recipe for billing disaster.
Customer service issues remain the single hottest complaint topic by a tiny margin over billing and payment issues, 47.8 per cent to 47.6 per cent.
In terms of national breakdown, the area with the highest complaint rate per thousand residents is The Ponds in Sydney, where coverage issues are king. The rest of the top ten postcode table covers McLaren Vale (unusable service), Doreen (Coverage), Parramatta (disputed bill), Melbourne (recurring charges), Brunswick East (Connection delay), Craigieburn (Coverage), Melton South (Poor contract information), South Windsor (Connection delay) and Adelaide (Excess data charges).
TIO Talks [TIO]