Skip to main content

Faulty services – what to do about it and how we can help

Each year the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) receives thousands of complaints about faulty services. In the last financial year, there were over 15,000 complaints about having no phone or internet service.

Service outages or service faults can be harmful if you rely on your phone or internet connection for your safety, business, or staying connected to friends and family.

Rural resident Carmella* relies on her landline service for all her communication needs. However, frequent landline outages left her feeling isolated, and made it difficult to fix the fault.

Without a reliable landline, Carmella was worried she would have no service at all if an emergency happened, as there was no mobile reception on her property.

Carmella contacted her telco several times to report the service dropouts, and each time she had to wait weeks before a technician could come out to her property. Because the fault wasn’t happening all the time, whenever a technician visited the landline appeared to be working, and the technician reported that there were no problems with her service. Other times the technicians would cancel appointments without letting Carmella know.

Carmella's problem remained unresolved, and her service got even worse. Her landline became unstable for long periods of time, making it difficult for her to contact her telco to report faults.

Carmella came to the TIO for help, and we worked with her and her telco until her service was repaired.

Complaints about faulty services can cover a range of problems, not just phone or internet outages. Some of the other common problems about faulty services and equipment include:

  • coverage or data transfer speeds that don’t match what was advertised or promised
  • delays fixing a fault with a service
  • faulty enhanced call handling features or add-on services
  • missed technician appointments
  • handsets, modems or other equipment provided by your telco that doesn't work properly.

If your phone and internet services or equipment are not working the way they should, the TIO is free, independent, and here to help.

Contact your telco first, and if you can't fix the problem together make a complaint with us.

Find out more about faulty services and equipment here.


*All names have been changed