Tuesday, 17 September, 2019


TIO complaint numbers 'show telcos need to step up their game'

The NBN is more than half way built The NBN is more than half way built
Noah Ferguson | 17 April, 2018, 01:26

The national broadband network is still not meeting consumer expectations with complaints continuing to rise as more homes and businesses connect to the network, the industry ombudsman says.

Most NBN complaints were about provider response, at 10,222 in total; poor service quality, at 9,006; connection/changing provider, at 8,929; no service, at 6,778; charges and fees, at 4,348; making a contract, at 490; infrastructure, at 337; in contract, at 250; equipment, at 247; and access or damage to property, at 207 complaints.

The TIO figures do not represent all complaints related to Internet services, including NBN services - the figures include only those where a complaint has been made to the ombudsman.

"With "provider response" being the top issue raised by customers who complain in relation to a service delivered over the NBN, our industry will be working to improve the end-to-end experience, including through improved assistance between providers in the supply chain to resolve complaints", Gillespie-Jones said.

"But there is a lot of work being done to improve the consumer experience which is great".

It said the 31% share of complaints involving more than one service type indicated that the telecommunications landscape was very complex and that often issues could not be attributed to a single cause, complicating the process of resolution.

Average network bandwidth congestion per home is also said to have improved, to below 30 minutes per week, versus more than six hours per week recorded previous year.

Outgoing NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow will look to downplay negative public perception on Tuesday in a speech to the National Press Club saying that in percentage terms the results of female business growth "are stunning".

"If this trend continues, up to 52,200 additional Australian women will be self-employed by the end of the roll-out due to the "NBN effect".

The figures released by the TIO reveal that overall complaints about landline, mobile and Internet services grew by 28.7 per cent in the second half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

"This six-month update reflects the changed recording of service types and issues".

"Our industry can not be satisfied with these numbers and we will continue to implement measures - including through the enforceable Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code that is now being revised - created to improve the overall customer experience", Gillespie-Jones said.

She said recent changes to regulation and rules put in place to resolve complaints, including the consumer watchdog's enforceable undertakings, speed monitoring and NBN's move to temporarily slash the cost of top-tier internet speeds, are positive steps that will help improve the consumer experience.

Complaints from small businesses meanwhile were 39.6 percent from those with multiple services, followed by landline at 21.9 percent, mobile at 20.9 percent, internet at 17.3 percent and property complaints were at 0.4 percent.

New South Wales had the highest total complaints with 26,914, up 27.9 percent, followed by Victoria's 23,954 complaints, or a 30.5 percent increase.

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