If you are having issues with your internet connection or NBN service, you’re not alone! The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) released a publication in November 2016 that outlined the state of affairs for the period between July 2015 and June 2016, and it was not good news for the NBN.
Overview of 2015-2016 in telco complaints
Australians made a total of 112, 518 complaints during that period, and while those about the internet and the NBN skyrocketed, new complaints about mobile and landline phone services saw a drop. It’s not all good news, however. In total, complaints about landline, mobile, and internet decreased during the year by a total of 9.6%. That sounds great, until you learn that, between July and September 2016, new complaints were 25.7% higher than they were at the same time in 2015.
NBN a major reason for complaints
The fact that complaints rose as the NBN really started to kick off in 2016 doesn’t, unfortunately, appear to be a coincidence.
Ombudsman Judi Jones says, “We saw nearly a 100 per cent increase in the number of NBN related complaints this year, but the rate of growth is lower than the growth of active services”. She went on to state that the most regularly reported issues were delays in connections to the network, faults ( including unusable services), and service dropouts.
The statistics to confirm these reports include the 147.8% jump in complaints about faults on NBN services, while complaints about NBN connections rose by a total of 63.2%.
A breakdown of telco complaints
We’ll take a snapshot look at some of the key statistics here, but if you want to read the whole report, go to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman website and follow the links.
The 112, 518 new complaints made to the TIO in the 2015-2016 financial year can be broken down into four service types: Mobile complaints made up 36.6%, Internet 34.6%, and Landline 28.8%.
The top five reasons for complaints remained the same as the previous year and were, in order, billing and payments, customer service, faults, complaint handling, and contracts.
Who complained the most? It would seem that the TIO received more complaints from Victorians than any other state, with 5.9 for every 1000 people. The other states were as follows:
- South Australia – 5.34 per 1000 people
- Australian Capital Territory – 5.22 per 1000 people
- New South Wales – 5.21 per 1000 people
- Queensland – 4.80 per 1000 people
- Tasmania – 4.42 per 1000 people
- Western Australia – 4.16 per 1000 people
- Northern Territory – 3.83 per 1000 people
The average across Australia was 5.24 new complaints per 1000 people, and most of those new complaints came from consumers in major cities.
What to do if you have an issue with your provider
The first point of call is to call your provider directly and talk to someone about the issue you are having. If you don’t think your complaint has been resolved, or are unhappy with how it has been dealt with, you can ask to speak to a conflict resolution manager. If you’re still unhappy, that’s when you should get in touch with the TIO.
They provide free and independent dispute services for small businesses and residential consumers, and can be contact via a form on their website, or by calling 1800 062 058.