17 April 2018

Issues with charges and fees top ACT complaints about mobile, landline and internet services

| Glynis Quinlan
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The highest number of ACT complaints to the Ombudsman were about mobile phones, closely followed by internet services.

Complaints about mobile, landline and internet services increased by 11 per cent in the ACT in the last six months of 2017 compared to a year earlier, with ACT householders and small businesses making a total of 1,184 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

According to a new Ombudsman’s report released today, issues with charges and fees topped the list of ACT complaints (588), closely followed by problems with provider responses (506 complaints), with poor service quality coming in third (273 complaints).

In terms of services, most Canberrans complained about mobile phone services (410 complaints), representing 34.6 per cent of complaints.

Internet services were the second most complained about, with a total of 373 complaints, making up 31.5 per cent of the ACT complaints.

The vast majority of complaints to the Ombudsman came from residential consumers, who made 1,089 complaints, which represented 92 per cent of complaints. The ACT’s small businesses made 94 complaints (7.9 per cent of complaints) and there was a single complaint from a not-for-profit organisation.

Throughout Australia, complaints to the Ombudsman about telecommunications services increased by 28.7 per cent in the last six months of 2017 compared to the same six month period in 2016 – with a total of 84,914 complaints made.

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Judi Jones said the industry in Australia continues to experience significant change.

“An increasing range of products and services are being offered to consumers, expectations for the quality of phone and internet services are high, and the rollout of the National Broadband Network is changing the way we use telecommunications services,” Ms Jones said.

“However, consumers still seem to be facing the same problems, particularly with their bills and the customer service they receive.

“Confidence in services being updated or transferred reliably, faulty equipment, and poor service quality were also recorded as key issues. Additionally, the wider issues relating to phone or internet problems such as debt management are concerning.”

A list of Australia’s top complaint issues. Image provided by TIO.

Ms Jones said that complaints about services delivered over the National Broadband Network continued to increase compared to the same six month period in 2016 – increasing by 203.9 per cent to 22,827. A total of 14,055 of those complaints were recorded about service quality, while 8,757 were about delays in establishing a connection.

“This indicates the consumer experience is still not meeting expectations for all. Recent changes to regulation and an increase in our powers to resolve complaints are positive steps that will help improve the consumer experience,” Ms Jones said.

Have you encountered problems with any of your telecommunications services? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.

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