Consumers made 193,702 new telco complaints in 2011-12, a decrease of two per cent on the previous year, according to the 2012 Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) Annual Report.
Complaints about mobile phones increased by nine per cent to 122,834 from 112,376 in 2010-11.
Two out of three complaints made to the TIO were about mobile phones, reflecting the rising use of smart phones. Poor coverage, billing disputes and the quality of information given to consumers at the point of sale were common issues in these complaints.
The TIO Annual Report highlighted ongoing billing and credit issues related to mobile services as a particular concern. This includes the following specific issues:
- financial overcommitment due to inadequate spend management tools (15,752 issues – double the number of the previous year)
- disputes over the total amount of a bill (13,943 issues – 33 per cent increase)
- disputed internet usage charges (10,556 issues – 150 per cent increase)
- disputed roaming charges (4,186 issues – 69 per cent increase).
The TIO’s 2012 annual report, Preparing for the Future, is available online.