The TIO received 38,287 new complaints between October and December 2012, a slight increase of 1.4 per cent from the previous quarter.
However, this figure is 20.3 per cent less than during the same period in 2011. New mobile phone complaints made up 59.4 per cent of all the new complaints we received in the quarter.
Complaints about mobile services in October–December 2012 were 29.5 per cent less than a year before.
Issues about billing, complaint handling, credit management and contracts have all decreased over each of the last four quarters and customer service issues were substantially less than at the same time in the previous year.
“It is positive to see substantially fewer new complaints than 12 months ago,” Ombudsman Simon Cohen said. “Fewer customer service and billing issues in particular suggest consumers are finding it easier to resolve common telco complaints.”
There was an increase in issues about service faults and connections in October–December when compared to the previous quarter.
Issues about faults increased 5.1 per cent, mainly due to mobile faults. Sixty-five per cent of faults complaints we received were about mobile services (11,367 issues). Of those, 56.2 per cent were about mobile phone coverage (6,384 issues). This was the most common cause of mobile complaints to the TIO for the third quarter in a row.
Faults issues in new internet service complaints had a small increase (2.9 per cent), and represented 23.8 per cent of the overall fault issues recorded. The common problems consumers mentioned were unusable services, slow data speeds, drop outs and coverage.
Connection issues have increased 14.4 per cent after two consecutive periods of decreases. Of these issues, 44.8 per cent were about internet services and another 40.8 per cent were about landline services. Most of the landline issues were about delays in connecting new services.
Despite an overall decrease in new complaints about credit management issues, overcommitment due to inadequate spend management tools increased 23.5 per cent for mobile services in the quarter.