Phone and internet complaints decline this quarter, with emerging problems

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s (TIO) Quarter One Complaints Report shows between July and September 2022, residential and small business consumers made 16,310 complaints, a decrease of 8.6 percent compared to the previous quarter, and a decrease of 23.9 percent compared to the same period. time last year. Inquiries to TIO increased by 9.1 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Mobile complaints continued to be the most complained about service type, accounting for 47 percent of all complaints. The number of complaints about internet, landline and many services has decreased significantly.

Mobile phone complaints about non-receipt or delayed action by a provider rose 19.9 percent this quarter, and complaints about misleading sales practices rose 25.4 percent.

The last week of the first quarter saw the beginning of the impact of the Optus data breach on mobile consumers. Mobile phone complaints about unauthorized disclosure of personal information were five times higher than the previous quarter, which had lower numbers of complaints for this issue. Mobile phone complaints about termination fees increased by 28.5 percent.

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Some important points include:

  • Across all types of service, complaints about non-availability or delayed provider action increased by 6.8 percent, and complaints about failure to cancel service increased by 2.6 percent compared to the previous quarter.
  • The proportion of complaints about error and connection problems decreased to 40.5 percent of total complaints, compared to 47.9 percent in the previous quarter.
  • Small business complaints fell 7.8 percent this quarter.
  • Complaints about Optus and Southern Phone increased by 27.6 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively compared to the last quarter. All the remaining providers in the top ten saw a decrease in complaints.
  • Complaints about Telstra fell by 20.7 per cent compared to the previous quarter, and by 42.3 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.
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As stated by Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert:

“It’s nice to see complaints end this quarter. There has also been a really positive development from the industry, with the telcos recording a decline in complaint numbers.

“We are starting to see the impact of the Optus data breach on our mobile phone complaints. Complaints about privacy violations made it into our top five mobile service complaint stories for the first time. This is an evolving situation, and issues related to data breaches will continue to emerge in the following sections.

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“It’s really scary to have your personal information exposed. We have set up a dedicated team to deal with these complaints directly, and are working closely with Optus and the relevant agencies to enable us to resolve complaints as efficiently and effectively as possible, at an already stressful time for consumers.

“The Optus data breach gives all telcos an opportunity to review how they collect and store consumers’ personal information. These are important services, and phone and internet consumers need to know that their information is safe. “

/Public Release. This material from the source organization/authors may be chronological, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s). View in full here.

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