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Commencement of the 3G network shutdown

Update 18 March 2024

In addition to 3G Mobile devices, mobile devices that are not VoLTE compatible may be unable to make calls or receive calls, including calls to emergency services, when the 3G networks are turned off.

Typically this will impact older devices, but may also impact handsets bought internationally, or via ‘grey markets’.

It is important that you check that your mobile device is both capable of using VoLTE for making and receiving calls, and capable of using VoLTE for calls to emergency services.

For more information, visit: 

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association

Understanding your Mobile Phone's VoLTE and Emergency Calling Capabilities ahead of 3G Network Closures

Telstra

3G closure - what do I need to know?

How do I enable VoLTE on my mobile phone?

Vodafone

Our 3G network is closing down

Voice over LTE (VoLTE)

Optus

Important changes to 3G

VoLTE Guide: Explore Voice over LTE calls


Update 14 December 2023

From 15 December 2023 Telstra, Optus and Vodafone/TPG will begin to shut down their 3G networks. The shutdown will begin with TPG/Vodafone network on 15 December 2023, Telstra on 30 June 2024 and Optus in September 2024. This is due to the 4G and 5G networks being widespread and in common use. 

The shutdown means that devices that rely solely on the 3G network and do not have the capability to connect via 4G or 5G will no longer have connectivity, including the ability to make calls to 000.

The 3G network shutdown will typically impact older mobile handsets but could also impact other devices that connect over a mobile network such as baby monitors, medical alarms or EFTPOS machines.

If consumers have a device that relies on the 3G network, it’s important to upgrade these devices now to avoid being without service.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman may be able to help with problems related to the shutdown, including:

  • Detriment that has occurred because of not being notified of the 3G network closure.
  • Contractual disputes
  • Paying for a service that cannot be used.

The TIO will not be able to handle complaints about having no coverage as a result of the shutdown, requests for the 3G network to stay connected, or handsets and devices that are no longer working and were not supplied as part of a current contract.

Consumers should always contact their provider first to try and resolve the problem. If you can’t work it out together, contact us on 1800 062 058 or make a complaint online at tio.com.au.

For more information on the shutdown of the 3G network read the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association's fact sheet​​​​​​.

Quarter 2 Complaints Data

Overview

The latest data from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reveals consumers and small businesses made 14,671 complaints between October and December 2023, an increase of 13.4 percent against the previous quarter.

Help with data navigation

To view more data in detail or to view specific data, click on the 'Select Filters' button Select filters function on the top right corner of the dashboard. Click on the drop-down selection to select your desired data fields. Once you're done, click on the 'Clear Selected Filters' to remove all selected filters.

To open a report visual in focus mode, hover over the visual and select the Focus mode icon   .

Key data summary

Complaints increased by 13.4 percent compared to the previous quarter, but decreased 17.9 percent compared to the same time last year. Overall, six of the top ten issues increased compared to last quarter, with complaints about customer service and problems with a bill continuing to be the top issues for consumers. The most notable increases were in complaints related to a network outage and complaints about no phone or internet service.

 

Complaints data

Telstra made up a proportion of 36.8 percent of all complaints and Optus made up a proportion of 31.4 percent of all complaints. By volume, complaints about Optus increased 43.1 percent this quarter. Nine of the top ten providers recorded increases, while complaints about Southern Phone decreased.

 

Demographics data

The top three phone and internet problems faced by First Nations consumers and people who speak a language other than English are reflected in the national complaints picture – problems with customer service, problems with a bill and providers not doing what they say will do.

 

Complaints by location data

Nationally, the top five LGAs with the highest complaints were Brisbane (602), Gold Coast (323), Moreton Bay (291), Sunshine Coast (213) and Wyndham (206). Sunshine Coast is new to the top five LGAs, and Wyndham has dropped from number 3 to number 5 this quarter.

By clicking on a specific state, you can delve deeper into the insights and gain a better understanding of the complaints originating from that area. Not sure where your LGA is? Find out here WA, SA, TAS, QLD, VIC, NT, NSW.

 

Unresolved cases data

Unresolved complaints are complaints or enquiry-referrals that the consumer tells us were not resolved after TIO referred them to the telco. Complaints that come back to the TIO as unresolved have decreased 23.5 percent compared to the previous quarter.

 

Escalated cases data

Escalated complaints are a subset of unresolved complaints that proceed to dispute resolution. Some unresolved complaints are not escalated since they are resolved before being assigned to a case officer. Complaints that are escalated to dispute resolution have decreased 21.8 percent compared to the previous quarter.

 

Complaint outcomes

The total financial outcome returned to residential consumers for the period was $588,510 and $395,188 returned to small businesses. Of the complaints that proceeded to dispute resolution, 58.2 percent of cases were closed within 60 days. 

 

Complaint issues and keywords

Issues in complaints are recorded based on six broad categories that follow the lifecycle of a consumer’s relationship with their phone or internet provider. A single complaint can have more than one issue.

Help with data navigation

To view more data in detail or to view specific data, click on the 'Select Filters' button Select filters function on the top right corner of the dashboard. Click on the drop-down selection to select your desired data fields. Once you're done, click on the 'Clear Selected Filters' to remove all selected filters.

To open a report visual in focus mode, hover over the visual and select the Focus mode icon   .

 

Questions? 

For more information, email mediaenquiries@tio.com.au

Quarter 1 Complaints Data

Overview

Latest data from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reveals consumers and small businesses made 12,960 complaints between July and September 2023, a decrease of 10.6 percent against the previous quarter.

Help with data navigation

To view more data in detail or to view specific data, click on the 'Select Filters' button Select filters function on the top right corner of the dashboard. Click on the drop-down selection to select your desired data fields. Once you're done, click on the 'Clear Selected Filters' to remove all selected filters.

To open a report visual in focus mode, hover over the visual and select the Focus mode icon   .

Key data summary

Complaints decreased by 10.6 percent compared to the previous quarter, and 20.4 percent compared to the same time last year. Complaints across all service types were down compared to the previous quarter. Internet complaints did not decrease at the same rate as other service types, decreasing only by 6 percent. All issues in the top ten except inadequate fault testing decreased compared to the previous quarter. 

 

Complaints data

Telstra made up a proportion of 41.1 percent of all complaints, similar to the previous quarter. The proportion of complaints about Optus decreased from 27.3 percent to 24.9 percent compared to the previous quarter. Increases in complaints were recorded against Tangerine Telecom, Southern Phone and Uniti Retail.  

 

Demographics data

The top three phone and internet problems faced by First Nations consumers and people who speak a language other than English are reflected in the national complaints picture – problems with customer service, problems with a bill and providers not doing what they say will do.

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Complaints by location data

Nationally, the top five LGAs with the highest complaints were Brisbane (437), Gold Coast (263), Wyndham (226), Moreton Bay (208) and Central Coast (176). 

By clicking on a specific state, you can delve deeper into the insights and gain a better understanding of the complaints originating from that area. Not sure where your LGA is? Find out here WA, SA, TAS, QLD, VIC, NT, NSW.

 

Unresolved cases data

Unresolved complaints are complaints or enquiry-referrals that the consumer tells us were not resolved after TIO referred them to the telco. Complaints that come back to the TIO as unresolved have increased 19.3 percent compared to the previous quarter. Telstra (41.6%), Optus (24.0%), Vodafone (7.4%) and Uniti Retail (3.1%) were the providers with the most unresolved complaints. 

 

Escalated cases data

Escalated complaints are a subset of unresolved complaints that proceed to dispute resolution. Some unresolved complaints are not escalated since they are resolved before assigned to a case officer. Complaints that are escalated to dispute resolution have decreased 9.1 percent compared to the previous quarter, but increased by 6.2 percent compared to the same time last year. 

 

Complaint outcomes

The total financial outcome returned to residential consumers for the period was $484,884 and $205,209 returned to small businesses. Of the complaints that proceeded to dispute resolution, 56 percent of cases were closed within 60 days. 

 

Complaint issues and keywords

Issues in complaints are recorded based on six broad categories that follow the lifecycle of a consumer’s relationship with their phone or internet provider. A single complaint can have more than one issue.

Help with data navigation

To view more data in detail or to view specific data, click on the 'Select Filters' button Select filters function on the top right corner of the dashboard. Click on the drop-down selection to select your desired data fields. Once you're done, click on the 'Clear Selected Filters' to remove all selected filters.

To open a report visual in focus mode, hover over the visual and select the Focus mode icon   .

 

Questions? 

For more information, email mediaenquiries@tio.com.au

Support for consumers and small businesses impacted by Optus network outage

Updated 14 Nov 2023

Contacting Optus

  • Latest information on the Outage here: Outage | Optus
  • Optus Specialist Care: Specialist Care (optus.com.au)
  • Contacting Optus: Message Optus anytime (24/7) via My Optus app remains the easiest way to contact Optus, or call on 133 937.

Who we can help

Individual consumers
An individual consumer is a person who uses a telecommunications provider’s services for personal purposes. Most providers only allow one person to be listed as the account holder of a residential account.

Small businesses and not-for-profits 
Generally, a small business or not-for-profit consumer has up to $3,000,000 annual turnover and no more than 20 full-time employees. We take into account if employees are permanent, casual, and if employment is seasonal or voluntary. 

How we can help

Whilst service providers do not offer a fault-free service, there may be remedies available to you when a product does not perform as expected.

These remedies will vary based on individual circumstances but may include refunds for the time you were unable to use the service, compensation, or in some circumstances a release from contract.

We will take a careful approach to considering whether compensation is appropriate. The amount of compensation awarded will be proportionate to the extent of the harm suffered. It is likely most awards of compensation for non-financial loss will be modest.

If you have contacted Optus and are unhappy with its response to your complaint, we may be able to help.

We deal with compensation claims for:

  • financial loss caused by a breach of an obligation a telco owes a consumer
  • non-financial loss where an individual has suffered:
    • embarrassment or humiliation caused by a privacy breach
    • unusual amounts of stress or inconvenience.

Types of claims for losses

We deal with claims for compensation such as:

  • lost business profit due to connection delays or network faults
  • costs of having to pay for alternative services when a telco does not supply agreed services
  • the costs of repairing a telco's damage to property
  • the costs of protecting someone’s safety after a telco discloses a consumer’s personal information, for example an unlisted number or address.
  • breach of privacy rights resulting in injury to your feelings or humiliation
  • where an unusual amount of physical inconvenience, time taken to resolve a situation, or interference with an individual’s peace of mind has occurred because of a telco’s action or inaction.

We do not deal with claims for compensation:

  • for the costs of making a complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
  • for loss of business reputation
  • made to penalise a telco.

When assessing your compensation claim, we will consider what steps you took to protect your interests and minimise any losses. 

You can only get compensation for losses directly caused by the telco

We assess claims by first determining if there was a breach by the telco. Then we consider the impact of the breach on you.

For financial loss, you will need to give us evidence to show the loss. This will vary depending on the loss you are claiming for.

Faulty services

The Australian Consumer Law sets out consumer guarantees for goods and services and the rights you have when something fails to perform as expected.

When assessing complaints, the TIO assesses whether these guarantees have been met, the extent of the failure and what remedies may be fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

Remedies

The remedy you are entitled to will depend on whether the failure to comply with the guarantee is a major or minor failure.

If your product or service fails to meet a consumer guarantee, your right to a remedy may depend on the type of failure. Some possible remedies that may apply are:

  • refund
  • repair
  • replacement or exchange
  • compensation
  • cancellation of contract.

Minor failures can usually be remedied within a reasonable amount of time.

Major failures apply when there is a clear breach, and a product or service cannot be fixed or remedied within a reasonable time.

As telco’s do not offer a fault free service, a one-off outage is unlikely to be considered a major failure which would constitute a cancellation of contract under the ACL.

When we handle complaints about faulty services, we consider what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances having regard to the law, relevant industry codes, guidelines, and good practice.

 

Compensation amounts

The amount of compensation for financial loss we can award

We can direct a telco to pay you up to $100,000 in compensation. If we estimate the value of the claim is likely to exceed $100,000, we may decide not to handle a complaint because a court or tribunal is more appropriate for your claim.

If you want to make a claim for financial loss, you should be able to show us the loss with supporting information.

The amount of compensation for non-financial loss we can award

The limits on the amount of compensation we can award are:

  • A maximum of $100,000 for complaints about privacy rights
  • A maximum of $1,500 for all other complaints.

You can find more information about how we handle complaints about faulty services and compensation in the links below.

Further information