Tuesday, 29 October 2019 11:24

Problems with bills, customer service dominate complaints to telecoms Ombudsman Featured

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Problems with bills, customer service dominate complaints to telecoms Ombudsman Image stuart miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

More than 30,000 consumers and small businesses complained about their phone and Internet services - with many complaining about problems with their bills and the quality of customer service - over a three month period to the end of September this year, according to the latest complaints report from the Telecomunications Industry Ombudsman.

The TIO’s latest report for the period 1 July to 30 September 2019 reveals a total of 32,801 complaints were lodged for the quarter - a 6.3% jump over the level of complaints in the same period in 2018.

Ombudsman Judi Jones said consumers are telling the TIO about problems with their bill and customers services.

“Consumers are telling us problems with their bill and the customer service they are receiving continue to be problematic.Delays with getting connected and no working phone or internet service were also recorded as key issues. Additionally, the problems we’re seeing with debt management relating to mobile phone services is concerning.

“This quarter’s result shows a slight increase of 6.3 per cent against the same period in 2018. It’s too early to tell if this signals an upward trend of complaints, but we will be monitoring this closely, along with the telecommunications industry, government and regulators.

“I’m pleased to deliver the transition to quarterly reporting of phone and internet complaints. This regular reporting cycle will present a timely data snapshot and a deeper granularity on the issues impacting telecommunications consumers,” Jones said.

The TIO report drew comment from the Telecommunications lobby group Communications Alliance with CEO John Stanton saying it was “positive to see that 84% of complaints to the TIO were resolved on the first referral to providers” but noting that “there is always room for improvement”

“It is pleasing that complaints to the TIO fell in the most recent quarter, compared to the previous two quarters,” said Stanton.

“This aligns with the trend in the ACMA’s RKR report published yesterday and the data in the TIO’s annual report.

“There is always room for improvement. Industry will continue working with the TIO and regulators to improve the customer experience,” concluded Stanton.

 

 

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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