Complaints per 10,000 services to the country’s top telcos declined in the 2021 to 2022 financial year by 7.9 per cent, but “further improvements” are needed to fix common pain points.
This is according to the chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Nerida O’Loughlin, who said while the decline was “encouraging”, complaints still sit at over 1 million per year.
“Telco services have become essential to our daily lives and more than a million complaints per year shows people are still experiencing too many issues with their phone and internet,” she said.
“The industry needs to make further improvements to address common telco pain points—prompt and effective communication, customer service, billing issues and the protection of vulnerable consumers—to drive down customer complaints.
“While the average time taken to resolve complaints has decreased to just over seven days, some telcos are still taking far too long to resolve complaints, with some averaging more than ten days before complaints are resolved.”
O’Loughlin’s comments follow the release of ACMA’s annual telco complaints report for 2021–22 , which also found that, out of 34 telcos, the majority take two to four days to resolve complaints.
Additionally, out of the 30 telcos that had 500 or more complaints, 10 had an escalation rate of 0 to 10 per cent.
The captured data does not include the time period during Optus’ data breach, which was first announced on 22 September. As such, O’Loughlin added that she expects complaints to Optus and the telco sector overall will rise in the coming months.
Last month, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) revealed mobile complaints that were escalated to the agency had hit a five-year high, which made 39.7 per cent of all complaints.
The TIO's annual report for the financial year ending 30 June found Medion, which offers services under the ALDImobile brand, experienced the largest increase in complaints over the period with a rise of 31.8 per cent, to 572 complaints.