Twenty-three providers have declared mass service disruptions due to natural disasters or extreme weather between July 2012 and March 2013, the TIO reports in the latest issue of TIO Talks, released on 5 June 2013.
These declarations have resulted in service providers being exempt from legislated times for landline connections and repairs set out in the Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) Standard. The CSG Standard generally requires connections or repairs to be carried out within two to 20 working days – depending on the type of connection and where the consumer lives.
Reasons provided for declaring exemptions from the performance standards include heavy rains and flooding in New South Wales, the effects of bushfires in Tasmania, and redeploying technicians from Victoria to restore services in flood-affected areas.
Consumers made 40,021 new complaints to the TIO between January and March 2013, a 4.5 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter, but a 23.3 per cent decrease compared to the same time in 2012.
New complaints about mobile phones in particular reduced, with almost 30 per cent fewer than the same time in 2012, with all complaint categories, and especially complaint handling, reducing.
Complaints about faults in landline and internet services were the only area of significant increase. Complaints about fully unusable services increased to 2,507 issues, and those about delays in connecting new services increased to 2,339 issues.
TIO Talks is available online at www.tio.com.au/publications