New figures released by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and Communications Alliance confirm that telco complaints are continuing to climb.
The organisations’ latest quarterly Complaints in Context report reveals the number of complaints lodged with the TIO per 10,000 services in operation. In the first quarter of 2017 there were 8.4 complaints per 10,000 services — up from 6.4 per cent in October-December 2016.
The figure represents an even steeper rise when compared to January-March 2016 quarter, when there were 6.2 complaints per 10,000 services in operation.
Telstra and Optus were the worst offenders, with both telcos having 9.3 complaints per 10,000 SIO — up from 6.4 and 7.9, respectively, in the first quarter of 2016.
Complaints about Vodafone climbed slightly from 3.7 per 10,000 SIO at the start of 2016 to 3.9 in the same period this year. However, unlike the other two major telcos, which saw a steep increase in complaints from Q4 2016 compared to Q1 2017, Vodafone’s complaints showed a significant quarter-on-quarter drop (from 5 to 3.9).
The TIO earlier this month released figures showing a dramatic increase in complaints during 2016.
In the wake of the TIO releasing its annual report on complaints, Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said that the National Broadband Network rollout and associated “additional implementation challenges” had contributed to rising complaints, although he noted that the growth in NBN-related complaints is slower than the growth in connections on the network.
There were 7512 NBN-related complaints made to the TIO in the second half of 2016, up 6.8 per cent on the first half of 2016 (7033 complaints) but up 117.5 per cent on the second half of 2015. NBN connections grew almost 225 per cent in between the second half of 2015 and the second half of 2016.
On a wholesale basis, Telstra is the largest supplier of retail NBN services, followed by TPG. Optus is the third-largest supplier of NBN services. Vodafone has yet to launch NBN plans.