The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has posted a drop in quarterly complaints about phone and internet services for the January-March 2021 period.
During the third quarter there were 30,393 complaints about telco providers from consumers and small-to-medium-sized businesses, a 0.3 per cent drop over the previous quarter.
The numbers also marked a 6.1 per cent fall year-on-year. However, the TIO report showed that mobile continued to be the most complained about service type, accounting for 35 per cent of all complaints, the highest proportion in the last five quarters.
The report also revealed a downward trend in the number of complaints about consumers being unable to contact their provider. Complaints about this problem decreased by 38 per cent compared to the previous quarter.
The overall proportion of small business complaints held steady, with a slight decrease from 17 per cent of total complaints in the previous quarter to 16 per cent in Q3.
Meanwhile, the report revealed the appearance of Foxtel in the top 10 providers this quarter, replacing M2 Commander.
Nevertheless, while overall complaint volumes have decreased over the last two quarters, complaints returning as unresolved from the telcos have been higher than previously observed, the TIO claimed. This quarter shows over 20 per cent of referrals in Q2 returning as unresolved.
Ombudsman Judi Jones said: "Complaints reflect the consumer experience of their phone and internet services and interactions with their telco.
“While the decline in overall complaints is a positive sign, the increase in complaints coming back to us unresolved is concerning. We will continue monitoring this trend and working with the telcos on the problems as they emerge."
Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton added that the drop in complaints was a welcome sign that telcos are consolidating the improved service levels they have rebuilt since the disruptive early period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everyone knows it is frustrating when it is hard to contact service providers in any industry to get an issue dealt with – so the evident strong improvement in telcos being reachable and available to deliver good customer service is very welcome,” he said.