Phone and internet complaints increase in quarter 3
Residential consumers and small businesses made 22,203 complaints between January and March 2022, an increase of 21 per cent compared to the previous quarter. The sharp increase is counter to a two-year trend of declining complaint numbers. While the current quarter complaint levels are lower than the same time last year, the increase is significant.
Complaints increased across all service types. The most complained about service type was mobile with just over 8,500 complaints, but the steepest increase was recorded in internet services with a 31 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter.
While poor customer service and problems with a bill continue to be the main problems reported by consumers, the quarter three results show complaints about poor mobile coverage increased almost 46 per cent, and complaints about inadequate fault testing increased almost 63 per cent from the previous quarter.
Other key points include:
- Complaints from residential consumers rose by more than 22 per cent compared to the previous quarter, and complaints from small businesses increased by over 12 per cent.
- Nearly 53 per cent of complaints included a problem with a fault or connection, including challenges with service quality and getting connected to a network.
- Dodo was the only telco to see a decline in complaints for the period. Medion, TPG and Southern had the largest percentage increases. While TPG, Medion and Aussie Broadband had year on year complaint increases, other telcos in the top 10 had year on year decreases in complaints.
Quotes attributable to Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert:
“Over the past two years, it has been pleasing to see improved industry practices reflected in a steady decrease in our complaints. This quarter’s increase in complaints is a reminder that telcos need to focus on working with consumers to resolve complaints before they escalate to us.”
“Consumers need to be able to rely on their phone and internet services. They are essential for work, schooling, running a business and keeping in touch with friends and family.”
“When problems happen, the telcos need to work with consumers to identify and repair the problem.”
“If you have tried to fix your phone or internet problem with your telco and you can’t work it out together, make a complaint with us - we’re free and here to help.”
Notes to Editors
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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 tio.com.au or 1800 062 058.