Consumer complaints to local telecommunications companies were down by nearly a quarter for the three months ending December 2020, compared to the same period the year prior, according to the latest data from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Sourced from an aggregation of complaints sent to telcos with 30,000 or more services, complaints during the December quarter were down by 24.8 per cent when compared to the same quarter a year ago, ACMA claimed, falling from 359,495 complaints to 270,355.
In fact, when looking as far back as the December quarter in 2018, complaints are down by 40.3 per cent, coming down from 452,676 complaints.
According John Stanton, CEO of telco industry body the Communications Alliance’s, these declines show “the hard work telcos have been putting in to improve customer service, including through the challenges of COVID”.
“Industry strengthened consumer protections with the revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code which commenced in August 2019," he said. “Additionally, telcos have been working on innovative service offerings and with carriers to increase customer choices and improve the customer experience.
“While there is always more work to be done, it is pleasing to see that industry’s efforts over the past years have had a positive impact, and we hope to see this trend continue.”
Some of that additional work Stanton referred to may include the weighted average days to resolve a complaint, which rose to 11.5 days for the December 2020 quarter.
This is up 17.3 per cent from the December 2019 quarter, at 9.8 days, and 45.6 per cent from the December 2018 quarter, at 7.9 days.
While the number of escalated complaints has increased by 6.3 per cent over the year, from 27,983 complaints to 29,753, this figure has remained relatively flat when compared to December 2018’s quarter, rising by 0.09 per cent, from 29,727 complaints.