Vodafone service complaints soar 96 per cent: TIO

Vodafone service complaints soar 96 per cent: TIO

The independent telco authority saw a significant increase in complaints on Vodafone and overall mobile services in the second half of 2010

New complaints regarding Vodafone services were up 96 per cent in the second half of 2010, according to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

The TIO is an independent authority that investigates disputes between consumers and telcos over mobile or Internet services.

It received 5370 new customer complaints on Vodafone in the latter half of 2010. They contributed to the 20 per cent increase in overall mobile service complaints.

Issues raised included mobile network and customer service failures by Vodafone with some customers reporting they were unable to contact the telco at all.

But Vodafone wasn’t the only culprit. Complaints across all telco services were up by nine per cent with a total of 87,264 incidents. December was the busiest month for the TIO.

"Customer frustration with Vodafone is understandable – it is one thing to have a service issue but it is especially concerning when consumers cannot contact someone to have their problems sorted out," Mr Cohen said, in a statement.

"I am aware of recent additional staffing to improve Vodafone customer service, and we will carefully monitor whether this is reducing the need for consumers to come to the TIO."

Vodafone has been the whipping boy for bad telco behaviour after a website dedicated to its network and customer service shortcomings, Vodafail, received mainstream attention.

Vodafone has since issued an apology to customers and has committed $1 billion in upgrading its mobile network.

More than 19,000 of cases the TIO has dealt with concerned telcos not keeping their promises to customers to resolve a complaint; up 23 per cent from the first half of 2010. The independent authority said a portion of these cases should have been easily resolved by the telcos.

The TIO was also concerned over telcos failing to inform customers on their rights to contact the group. Under the Telecommunicaitons Consumer Protection Code, telcos are obliged to advise customers on further courses of action they can take if a complaint is unable to be resolved.

The TIO said it will monitor this issue.

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Tags VodafoneTelecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)complaintstelecommunciationsVodafailTelecommunicaitons Consumer Protection Code

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