Thursday, 04 February 2021 00:08

Comms Alliance says telco industry welcomes 11.2% drop in customer complaints Featured


Australia's Communications Alliance has "welcomed the announcement by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) that complaints dropped by 11.2% in the most recent quarter."

This quarter’s report follows the TIO’s 2019-2020 Annual Report, published in September, which reflected a third annual decrease in complaints.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said: "Challenges during COVID such as shutdowns of call centres impacted customer experience last year, but this significant drop in complaints – across all service types - reflects the work by telcos to meet these challenges and keep Australians connected."

Telcos are delivering improved customer service while constantly increasing value and offering lower prices, as shown by the ACCC’s 2019-2020 Communications Market report.

Stanton added: “While complaints from residential consumers decreased at a faster rate than those from small businesses, we are pleased to see that complaint rates from both types of consumers decreased during the last quarter.

“We are grateful for the Ombudsman’s work to assist consumers and industry during the challenges of the last year, and are pleased to see complaint levels trending back towards pre-pandemic levels. Industry will continue working with the TIO and other stakeholders to improve customer experience,” Stanton concluded.

Communications Alliance reminds us that it is "the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia", with its membership drawn from "a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups."

So, what's my view?

Well, with complaints down, and telcos continuing the build-out of the networks, with ever more 5G coverage being rolled out, the value customers are getting is also going up, as price competition continues.

After all, along with the prevalence of plans with an "endless" speed capped amount of data once the full-speed data allocation rolls out with Telstra and Vodafone, with Voda offering faster capped speeds than Telstra, including Vodafone/TPG's challenger brand felix mobile with its 20Mbps speed cap for otherwise unlimited data, competition is innovative and strong, and I'm sure well see more moves in the speed of endless speed caps this year.

That doesn't even include the coming broadband satellite networks which will competitively shake things up even further and make data even cheaper and more ubiquitous from virtually any location over the next few years, ensuring never-better global connectivity that still gets better across the globe every single day, with even better being actively developed and yet to come.

The battle for customer loyalty, along with COVID-19 encouraging companies to bring their support back to Australia, a focus on customer service to offer the best you can is one very customer friendly way to retain and re-sell to customers you already have, which is always cheaper and easier than attracting and selling to new customers.

Let's hope customer complaints drop again in the next quarter with networks keeping up with the move to 5G as the networks keep rolling out. There's still lots of work to be done by all the major players, with, as you always want to see in a competitive market, the customer being the ultimate winner.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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