by Byron Connolly

Internet service complaints rise

Feb 19, 2016
Technology Industry

Complaints about internet services from customers across Australia rose 11.6 per between October and December, 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) said on Friday.

Slow data speed continues to be the primary driver of internet fault complaints to the TIO with 1,662 issues reported during the three months. This represented a 56.8 per cent increase compared to the period a year earlier.

Other fault-related problems such as dropouts also contributed to the year-on-year increase in complaints. There were 1,039 drop-out issues which was 15.7 per cent more than at the same time in 2014.

The TIO recorded 2,176 new NBN-related landline and internet complaints during the period. This was 3.8 per cent fewer than in the previous quarter, but 40.1 per cent higher than at the same time in 2014.

An emerging issue is complaints about unusable NBN services with 210 reports of NBN landlines that could not be used and 184 reports of useless NBN internet services over the period. This was an increase of 47.9 per cent and 42.6 per cent respectively compared to the previous quarter.

“The majority of complaints about unusable NBN services happened during the first few weeks of consumers transferring their services from copper to the NBN and 90 per cent were resolved after the TIO referred them back to the telco,” said Acting Ombudsman, Diane Carmody.

Meanwhile, the TIO received 23,572 new complaints during the quarter about phone services during the period, which was down 9.4 per cent compared to the previous quarter. It was down 20.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2014.

A large reduction in new mobile complaints (36 per cent year on year) was driven by further falls in complaints about coverage and excess charges. Mobile coverage no longer features as one of the 10 most common causes of consumer complaints to the TIO.

“I welcome the continuing drop in mobile and landline complaints but internet service providers need to be alert about internet fault complaints,” said Carmody said.

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