A new report by Australia’s telecoms regulator recorded nearly 80,000 complaints about phone and internet services in the last financial year, and while that number is significant, it actually represents a 33.4% year-on-year decline.
So what’s not working for us? According to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) report, it’s our cellular services (opens in new tab). Cellular services account for the largest proportion of complaints, accounting for 39.7% of all complaints.
Poor cellular coverage was also the only top 10 issue to increase year over year, representing a 6.1% increase in complaints. In addition, the TIO noted that the remaining emissions in the top 10 have declined in fiscal year 2021-22.
The Ombudsman says some of the increases in poor mobile phone coverage in states and territories can be attributed to natural disasters in Queensland and NSW, but it doesn’t explain all the complaints.
For example, Tasmania (up 37.2%), South Australia (up 34.1%) and Queensland (up 17.3%) were the states that saw the largest increases in poor mobile coverage. The ACT was the only state or territory in Australia not to report poor cell phone coverage in its top 10 issues.
How did the telecoms fare?
The TIO also revealed the top 10 telecom companies following complaints received in fiscal year 2021-22. Taken together, the top 10 account for 90.6% of all complaints received by the Ombudsman, and Telstra leads with 52.5% of the total.
That’s a pretty significant chunk, but let’s put it in context. In fiscal year 2020-21, 74,135 complaints were filed about Telstra and that number decreased to 41,741 in 2021-22 (a 43.7% decrease). Telstra is also the largest telecommunications company in Australia.
Southern Phone also saw a significant 47% decrease in complaints over the last fiscal year. It rose from 1,561 complaints in 2020-21 to 828 in the following fiscal year.
In the top 10, three telecom companies saw an increase in complaints: Aussie Broadband, Dodo and Medion, which operates as Aldi Mobile. Some may be surprised to see Aussie Broadband in the top 10 as it’s largely positive (opens in new tab) User feedback, but the telecom company saw an 8.2% increase in complaints. In raw numbers, it went from 1,047 complaints in fiscal 2020-21 to 1,133 in fiscal 2021-22.
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