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Update on Complaints about Phone and Internet Services 1 July to 31 December 2016

10 May 2017

Residential consumers and small businesses made 65,970 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about their landline, mobile or internet services between 1 July and 31 December 2016.

These figures were highlighted in the organisation’s Six Monthly Update, published today (Thursday 11 May, 2017). Complaints were recorded against 324 phone and internet providers in Australia.

In publishing the Update, Ombudsman Judi Jones said, “The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has experienced an increase in complaints for phone and internet services, which were up 5.3 per cent from the preceding six months (1 January 2016 to 30 June 2016). 

This is a 33.8 per cent increase in complaints compared to the same six months in 2015 (1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015).

Highlights about complaints for the period 1 July to 31 December 2016 include:

  • Customer service, billing and payments, faults and complaint handling are the most common complaints about phone and internet services;
  • 24,641 complaints were recorded about internet services, a 53.6 per cent increase on the same six months in 2015;
  • 23,331 complaints were recorded about mobile phones, an 18.8 per cent increase on the same six months in 2015;
  • 17,998 complaints were recorded about landlines, a 32 per cent increase on the same six months in 2015;
  • Proportionally, Victoria and South Australia made the most complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (complaints per 1000 population). This was followed by ACT and New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia. The Northern Territory recorded the lowest number of complaints;
  • 86.7 per cent of complaints were from residential consumers, and 13 per cent of complaints were from small businesses;
  • There was a 6.8 per cent increase in complaints about services delivered over the national broadband network compared to the preceding six months (January to June 2016). Compared to the same six months in 2015, the increase was 117.5 per cent. However the rate of increase in these complaints is slower than the rate of increase in the number of new premises connected to the national broadband network.
  • For services delivered over the national broadband network, 4,309 complaints were related to internet services, and 3,203 complaints were related to landline services.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

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

The Six Monthly Update outlines the key data about complaints from residential consumers and small businesses to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman for the period 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2016. Full Financial Year data and analysis for the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, is produced in the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s Annual Report published in October 2017.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) provides a free and independent dispute service for small business and residential consumers who have an unresolved complaint about their telephone or internet service in Australia.

Residential consumers and small businesses should visit our website or phone 1800 062 058.

The Telecommunications Industry Sector

The Telecommunications industry regulators are the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Media enquiries to  02 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or email, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Media enquiries to 1300 138 917 or email. After hours 0408 995 408.

Government and the regulators set policy and regulations for the telecommunications sector.

Communications Alliance is the peak body for Australian communications industry.  Media enquiries to Sefiani Communications, (www.sefiani.com.au) 61 431 478 558.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation representing individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit groups as consumers of communications products and services. Media enquiries to 0409 966 931 or 02 9288 4000.