New consumer complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reached a six-year low in 2013-14, according to the TIO Complaints - the Year in Review 2013-14 report, released today.We received 138,946 new complaints about landline, mobile and internet services in the 2013-14 financial year – a 12.4 decrease on the previous year.
The complaint decrease is largely due to fewer complaints about mobile coverage and significantly fewer customer service issues.
Mobile phone complaints
More than half of all new complaints were from mobile users, however new complaints about mobile services decreased by 21.2 per cent on last year, to 73,518 in 2013-14.
New complaints about mobile coverage – reduced or no reception, poor voice quality and call dropouts – decreased by 54.6 per cent, to just 11,708, in 2013-14 from 25,789.
Landline and internet complaints
Landline complaints increased slightly, by one per cent, while new complaints about internet services decreased by 0.9 per cent to 31,148, from 31,431.
Excess data charges took over from mobile coverage to become the top substantive complaint issue. New complaints about excess data charges rose by 27.2 per cent, to 14,534 in 2013-14.
Half of the complaints were for disputed amounts of $440 or more, with more than 60 complaints involving disputes greater than $10,000.
Faults across all service types decreased 28.4 per cent for reasons including more investment in mobile infrastructure.
Telstra, Optus and Vodafone account for 77.7 per cent of all new complaints. Vodafone and Optus recorded substantial decreases in 2013-14.
As in previous years, new complaints by personal consumers made up the vast majority of cases – 88.4 per cent. Small business complaints made up 11.3 per cent, and 0.3 per cent were complaints by government and charity organisations.