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2011 Annual report fast facts

07 November 2011

  • Record number of 197,682 new complaints, an almost 18% increase on previous year. This reversed the almost 5 per cent decrease in new complaints we reported in 2009-10.

  • New complaints about Vodafone mobile services almost tripled to over 32,000, peaking in January 2011 (more than 5,700). While Vodafone complaints took a downward turn in February 2011 (more than 4,200), their complaint levels in June 2011 (almost 2,800) were still more than double the number received in June 2010.

  • A 180% increase in the number of issues brought to us about mobile phone faults (about 56,000). The two most common complaints in this area include poor coverage (28,634 issues or a 609.6% increase) and dropouts 6,941 issues or a 482.8% increase).

  • Issues related to smart phones rise, such as a 26 per cent increase in disputes about internet charges. Other smart phone disputes include:
    • Complaints about the bill total (10,425 issues or a 52% increase),
    • Complaints about early termination fees (5,748 issues or a 9.6% increase)
  • Customer service and complaint handling issues continued to impact on consumers, including:
    • Inadequate time and quality of attention given to consumers – almost 51,000 consumers mentioned this as an issue in their complaint
    • Service providers not acting on the promises they make – almost 42,300 consumers mentioned this as an issue in their complaint.
  • New complaints about high debt and bill shock continue to rise.
    • Complaints about disconnections and suspensions without notice have increased 11 per cent to 5,834
    • Complaints about collection agents have increased 2 per cent to 5,430
    • Default listing complaints are also increasing – including complaints about the listing of disputed debts (up 27 per cent to 3,688) and listing without notice (up 13 per cent to 3,217).
  • Internet services (wired such as home ADSL or wireless internet such as dongles) are down 13 per cent to 37,092. This may be attributable in part to more affordable internet plans with generous data allowances, either as part of bundled packages or standalone deals, now being offered by the industry.
  • Complaints about landline services have had a small decline of 1.7 per cent coinciding with a decline in overall landline subscriptions.
  • New complaints about mobile premium services (MPS) are down 45.6 per cent to 2,174, reflecting stronger regulation and self-regulation of these services.
  • TIO investigated 20,635 cases, a decrease of 14.8 per cent. The decrease highlights the effectiveness of the TIO’s referral and conciliation processes.
  • The TIO continued to meet the needs of consumers who contacted us during an unprecedented period of demand. The level of overall satisfaction with our complaint handling was 93 per cent among consumers we surveyed in February 2011.

For your information, the TIO has received a number of media requests relating to Yellow Pages and costs/content of iPhone applications. We do not have jurisdiction in these areas. As a courtesy to consumers, we refer complaints about Yellow Pages to Sensis, but we do not investigate them. Please refer these requests to Consumer Affairs or Fair Trading.

For further information, please phone the TIO’s Communications Manager, Mirjana Jovetic, on (03) 8600 8378.

Faulty landlines

Case Study - Richard

The owner of a telemarketing business contacted us to make a compensation claim for lost profit.

Next step?              

  • make an online complaint
  • 1800 062 058                
  • Write PO Box 276
    Collins Street West Vic 8007                            
  • National Relay Service Call on 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 062 058            
  • Fax our consumer complaint form to 1800 630 614