Skip to main content

Core issues continue to frustrate telco consumers

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has today released its quarterly data on complaints received between January and March 2024. The TIO received a total of 15,799 complaints in this period, an increase of 9.1 percent on last quarter (14,671 complaints) and a 10.9 percent decrease on the same period last year (17,777).

Explore interactive data dashboards

Download data insights paper

While the overall trajectory of declining complaints is a positive sign for consumers and telcos, the nature of complaints made to the TIO indicates consumers remain frustrated by stubborn challenges such as service reliability.

The top complaints made by consumers were in relation to not having a working phone or internet service, and slow data speeds, up 35.4 percent and 29.4 percent on last quarter, respectively.

Other common issues raised by consumers included delays establishing a service (up 13.6 percent this quarter), intermittent service and drop outs (up 22.1 percent this quarter), and fees incurred for services or equipment (up 7.7 percent this quarter).

Residential consumers accounted for almost 90 percent of complaints, a 10 percent jump on the previous quarter.

On the telco front, complaints about Tangerine increased by 65.8 percent to 98 complaints largely driven by a data breach, and Optus complaints decreased by 19 percent from last quarter’s network outage.

An overall drop in complaints signals meaningful progress, but Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert says complaints concentrated in reliable internet services indicates there is still room for improvement.

Comments attributable to Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert:

“This data demonstrates that telcos must focus their attention on the bread and butter issues that consumers face. Namely, slow action when problems arise, slow data speeds, and challenging customer service for consumers to have their issues fixed”.

“When there is a data breach or an outage, we see a spike in complaints and that’s to be expected. But we continue to see the same ‘business as usual’ issues arise every quarter about poor customer service and reliability of technology to keep us connected – consumers largely have the same frustrations that the telco industry fail to tackle effectively”, she said.


Notes to Editors

For all media enquiries please contact Sarah Carnovale on 0437 548 540 or

About the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman provides a free and independent dispute resolution service for residential consumers and small businesses who have an unresolved complaint about their phone or internet service.

Consumers and small businesses should contact or 1800 062 058.