Telstra, Optus and Vodafone topped the latest consumer complaints figures by the country’s Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) for the three months ending December 2017.
Overall, the number of consumer complaints to the TIO as a proportion of services in operation (SIO), for participating service providers, increased to 8.7 complaints per 10,000 services for the period from October to December 2017.
The latest tally, collated and published by telco industry body, the Communications Alliance, revealed that the rate of complaints was higher than the previous quarter, at 8.3 per 10,000 services, but below the high point of 9.0 complaints per 10,000 SIO recorded from April to June 2017.
Overall, the proportion of complaints registered per 10,000 active services for all participating telcos during the quarter was higher than the same period the year prior, which came in at 6.4.
According to figures published by the Communications Alliance, Optus topped the list, with 10.6 complaints per 10,000 services against its name. Over the past five quarters complaints against Optus have risen, as a proportion of overall services.
Of the participating telcos, Telstra followed close behind, with 9.2 complaints per 10,000 services in action, also up from previous quarter, if not an increase on the quarters before that.
Vodafone was the subject of 4.9 complaints per 10,000 services in operation, and Pivotel recorded a total of zero complaints per 10,000 services.
“This result shows the ongoing challenges the industry is facing,” Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said.
“Industry will continue developing and implementing initiatives to improve the customer experience, and is coordinating with the ACMA [Australian Communications and Media Authority] on their recently announced measures to improve the NBN [National Broadband Network] consumer experience."
In October last year, the TIO flagged a rapid growth in the number of complaints it had received about services delivered via the National Broadband Network (NBN) as a cause for concern.
According to findings, for the first time ever, complaints about internet services in Australia were higher than complaints about mobile phones.
Specifically, the TIO said that complaints about services delivered via the NBN increased by more than 100 per cent compared to 2015/16, which included an increase in complaints about connection delays and reliability issues, such as faults.
“Complaints about services delivered over the national broadband network more than doubled, and while this is somewhat to be expected given the accelerating rollout, the increase is a cause for concern,” Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, Judi Jones, said in the report.