The number of complaints sent to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) are at their lowest level in nine years. On the whole, customers are more satisfied with the telco services they pay for, particularly when it comes to mobile coverage. However, complaints relating to internet services are on the rise with NBN causing more ire than ever.
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It would seem that the telecommunications industry has been lifting its game when it comes to reliable mobile coverage, excess data charges and resolving issues in a timely manner. The TIO received 23,572 new complaints in the last quarter, down 9.4 per cent compared to the quarter before that, and 20.3 per cent fewer than the same period in 2014.
Complaints dropped across both landline and mobile services, with the latter receiving the largest reduction (36% year on year.) The fall can be attributed to fewer complaints relating to coverage and excess data charges.
Internet service complaints, meanwhile, increased 11.6 per cent year-on-year, with low data speed and drop outs causing the bulk of complaints. Complaints relating to internet speeds jumped a whopping 56.8 per cent compared to the the same period in 2014. The TIO has warned that internet service providers need to be "on alert" about internet fault complaints.
The TIO also recorded 2176 new NBN-related landline and internet complaints during the October-December quarter. This was 40.1 per cent more than at the same time in 2014. Many of the complaints related to unusable NBN services and landlines.
"The majority of complaints about unusable NBN services happened during the first few weeks of consumers transferring their services from copper to the NBN and 90 per cent were resolved after the TIO referred them back to the telco," the TIO said in a statement.
It's worth noting that not every disgruntled customer takes their issues to the TIO for resolution. Indeed, a 2013 study found that nearly 50% of Australians have never even heard of the service, much less registered a complaint.