TIO Annual report shows poor mobile coverage the most prominent issue for telco services

In good news for consumers, complaints about phone and internet services decreased 33.4 per cent in the last financial year ending 30 June 2022. During this period, residential consumers and small businesses made 79,534 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, highlighted in the Annual Report 2021-22 published today.

This is a media release from Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO). It was originally published on 21st September, 2022.

Problems about connection delays, failing to cancel a service, and billing issues have improved compared to last year with the number of complaints dropping by over 40 per cent. Complaints about a telco being uncontactable have decreased considerably, and this is no longer a major issue for residential consumers and small businesses. 

While overall complaint numbers declined significantly in the period, the proportion of mobile complaints increased to 39.7 per cent of all complaints, from 32.7 per cent in the previous year. This is the highest proportion of complaints about mobile services in over five years.

Mobile complaints about poor coverage have increased 6.3 per cent, and problems with partially restricted mobile services and mobile service drop outs have increased 12.4 per cent and 9.9 per cent respectively. 

Other key points include:

  • The TIO received 26,989 complaints about internet services, a decrease of 32.3 per cent compared to the previous year. 
  • Complaints about landline services and multiple services declined by over 45 per cent. There were 6,814 complaints about landline services in 2021-22. 
  • The number of complaints about phone and internet services from small businesses decreased 44.2 per cent.  
  • Mobile complaints that had a fault or connection issue increased by 2.4 per cent. Fault and connection complaints decreased for all other service types. 
  • Problems with poor mobile coverage appeared in the top ten issues in all states and territories except for the Australian Capital Territory. 

Some providers saw significant improvements in complaint numbers in 2021-22. The number of complaints about Telstra decreased 43.7 per cent this year, and complaints about Southern Phone dropped 47 per cent. Complaints increased for Aussie Broadband, Dodo and Medion (offering products and services under the brand “ALDImobile”). 

The number of escalated complaints decreased in this period by 36.8 per cent compared to last year, with most unresolved complaints remaining about customer service, billing problems and service drop-outs. Escalated complaints about problems with poor mobile coverage decreased at a much lower rate than other issues, at just 5.7 per cent – while most other issues decreased by over 30 per cent. 

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