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Mobile coverage complaints to TIO drop to 3-year low

Complaints about mobile coverage made to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) dropped to a three-year low in October-December 2013, according to TIO Talks, released today.

Consumers reported 2,812 mobile coverage issues in October-December 2013 - a 30 per cent decrease from the previous quarter. This type of complaint is at its lowest since July-September 2010, when the TIO recorded 2,052 coverage issues.

"Complaints about mobile coverage have more than halved over the past six months," Ombudsman Simon Cohen said. "It is a positive story for an industry that has very publicly committed to doing better by its customers."

The TIO received 18,234 new complaints about mobile services, a 4.9 per cent reduction compared to July-September 2013. Other mobile issues that reduced in the quarter included drop outs and slow data speeds on mobile devices.

These reductions come amid a continuing decrease in overall new complaints to the TIO. Consumers made 33,351 new complaints in October-December 2013, 6.7 per cent fewer than in the previous quarter and 12.9 per cent fewer than at the same time in 2012. Consumers made fewer complaints than at any quarter over the previous six years.  

For the first time, the TIO contextualises its complaint statistics against telco services in operation in today's edition of TIO Talks.

Consumers made 313 complaints to the TIO for every hundred thousand services in operation in Australia in 2012-13. While the total number of services in operation increased in the financial year to 50.6 million, TIO complaints decreased to 158,652.

"The clear trend over the past three years is of fewer complaints per services in operation, with more services and reduced new complaints to the TIO" Mr Cohen said.

TIO Talks also reports on the TIO's recognition by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner as an External Dispute Resolution Service for privacy and credit reporting complaints. The recognition reflects the TIO's established role in resolving consumer complaints about credit reporting and privacy.