Telco complaints fall to 7-year low

Excess data charges overtake mobile coverage as top complaint

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has reported the lowest number of complaints about telcos in seven years.

In a report released today, the TIO said it received 30,539 new complaints in the period from July to September 2014. That is 14.6 per cent less than the same period in 2013 and the lowest number of complaints in seven years.

"I welcome this continuing drop in complaints," Ombudsman Simon Cohen said. "It is encouraging to see that one of the biggest issues for the last financial year, excess data charges, is also trending down."

Excess data charges overtook mobile coverage as the top issue Australians complained about to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) in 2013-14. The TIO attributed this to increased use of data on mobile devices, brought on by improvements to handsets and growth of 4G networks.

In the latest quarter, however, complaints about excess data charges dropped 13.1 per cent to 2508 complaints, the TIO said. The median dispute over excess data charges in the quarter was $373.

Complaints related to the National Broadband Network (NBN) also decreased to 1229, the lowest number of complaints recorded since December 2013. The NBN complaints comprised 4 per cent of overall new complaints, it said.

“Connection issues continued to be the most common problem raised by consumers making a complaint about an NBN service,” the TIO said in the report.

“These included complaints about delays in connecting new landline and internet services and premature disconnection of copper service while a consumer waited for a connection. These issues decreased each month in the quarter.”

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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