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Consumer complaints at a five-year low

23 October 2013

Consumer complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reached a five-year low in 2012-13, according to the TIO annual report.

We received 158,652 new complaints about landline, mobile and internet issues in the 2012-13 financial year – an 18.1 decrease on the previous year.

Mobile phone complaints

There was a 25.6 decrease in the number of complaints received about mobile phones – or more than 31,000 fewer complaints. Mobile phone complaints accounted for 57 per cent of new TIO complaints.

Coverage-related concerns – about reduced or no reception, poor voice quality and dropped calls – remained the main reasons consumers complained about their mobile services. In 2012-13, 25,770 consumers made a complaint about this these issues, a 13.5 per cent decrease when compared to 2011-12. Coverage was an issue in 28.2 per cent of new complaints about mobile services.

Landline and internet complaints

Landline complaints decreased 9.3 per cent to 33,940, while internet complaints increased marginally (1.9 per cent) to 31,431.

Issues in complaints

Billing and payment issues, customer service complaints and overall fault concerns all reduced in 2012-13.

In a note of caution, the Ombudsman reported that more than half of the complaints made to the TIO in 2012-13 included customer service issues, and the vast majority of these were resolved quickly by referral to senior complaints handlers within service providers.

Read the full report

The TIO’s annual report can be read online or downloaded at

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