Australia sees lowest number of TIO complaints in three years
The latest report from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) shows that Australia is at a three-year low for complaints about phone and internet services. The TIO received 30,539 complaints in the first half of the 2022-23 financial year, a 12.5% decrease from the previous six months and the lowest number since the second half of the 2019-20 financial year.
The report attributes the decline in complaints to several factors, including improved customer service and network performance by telcos, increased consumer awareness and education about their rights and options, and the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour and expectations. The report also notes that the TIO has resolved more complaints within 10 days and reduced its backlog of older complaints.
The most common issues raised by consumers were billing and payments (38%), service quality (24%), contracts (13%), connections (11%), and transfers (7%). The top five complaint categories were mobile phone services (34%), internet services (31%), landline phone services (15%), multiple services (14%), and property damage or access issues (2%). The TIO received complaints from all states and territories, with New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia accounting for 92% of the total.
The TIO is an independent body that provides a free and fair dispute resolution service for consumers and small businesses who have a complaint about their phone or internet service. The TIO can help with complaints about billing, contracts, connections, transfers, faults, quality of service, property damage or access issues, credit management, privacy or security breaches, or any other issue related to phone or internet services. Consumers can contact the TIO online at www.tio.com.au or by phone on 1800 062 058.
The TIO's report also highlights some emerging trends and issues in the telecommunications industry, such as the impact of natural disasters and extreme weather events on service delivery and restoration, the increased demand for broadband services due to remote work and education, and the ongoing transition to the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The TIO urges consumers to contact their service provider first if they have a problem with their phone or internet service, and to keep a record of their communication and any reference numbers. If the issue is not resolved within a reasonable time or to their satisfaction, consumers can lodge a complaint with the TIO online or by phone. The TIO will then work with both parties to find a fair and reasonable outcome.
The TIO also encourages consumers to be informed and proactive about their phone and internet services, and to shop around for the best deal that suits their needs and budget. Consumers can compare different plans and providers using online tools such as WhistleOut, Finder, or Compare Broadband. Consumers can also check their service quality and speed using online tests such as Speedtest or TestMyNet. Consumers can also report any network outages or faults to their service provider or to the NBN Co. aa16f39245