According to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the number of complaints from small businesses and households about internet and phone services increased by 6.2 per cent last financial year, to a total of 167,831.
However, it said that masked a significant 17.8 per cent fall in the volume of complaints received in the June 2018 quarter from the previous quarter.
That prompted ombudsman Judi Jones to suggest that service complaints “appear to be turning a corner”.
“Declining complaints across all landline, mobile and internet services are a positive indicator of recent industry, government and regulator efforts to address the disruption to telecommunications products and services of the past few years,” Ms Jones said.
“We all want to get to the same point: a positive consumer experience where expectations are more likely to be met.”
SMEs may not be quick to celebrate, though. The figures show that the number of complaints from small businesses in FY2018 surged by 8.7 per cent – well ahead of the overall 6.2 per cent rise.
That took the volume of complaints lodged with the ombudsman by small businesses to 20,433.
Mobile phones continued to draw the most ire from telco customers, accounting for 30.6 per cent of all objections lodged, followed closely by complaints about multiple services (29.7 per cent) and then internet (27.8 per cent).
Complaints about the NBN fell over the year. The ombudsman tracks customer problems about both connection and service quality, and both measures improved over the 12 months.
Five most complained about issues by telco customers
- No or delayed action by a service provider to resolve phone or internet issues.
- Disputed charges for service or equipment fees.
- Delays connecting to or changing service providers.
- No service at all, including no internet connection or no dial tone on their phone service.
- Service drop outs, or instances where the service works one day but not the next.
Source: Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman