The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) annual report released today has revealed stark contrasts—while complaints about phone and internet services decreased in the year ending 30 June 2022, complaints about mobile services and poor coverage increased as a proportion of the total reaching a five-year high.
While raw complaint numbers as a whole were down, mobile service complaints increased to 39.7% of the total received by the TIO in 2021-22. The most frequently raised issues were ‘no or delayed action by provider’ and ‘service and equipment fees’ across complaints about mobile services, internet services and bundles.
“Mobile and internet are an essential part of everyday life and people need them for work, health appointments, education and entertainment,” said Brigette Rose, Senior Policy Officer, Consumer Action.
“Everyone knows the frustration of contacting their telco provider, and it’s disappointing when telcos fail in their duty.”
Ms Rose said the Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland should take steps to ensure telcos are subject to safeguards that are consistent with other essential services, like electricity, gas, and water.
“For too long, telcos have been self-regulated. This means that much of the basic consumer protections—marketing and advertising standards, rules for contracts and product design, and after-sales standards—are set by the industry themselves, rather than by an independent regulator or government authority.
“Mobile and internet services that work and are affordable are at the heart of an effective communications service. Australian telcos can and must do better and we clearly need Government reform of the system to drive this. This will drive down complaints at the Ombudsman,” she said.
Media contact: Mark Pearce, Media and Communications Adviser, 0413 299 567, email@example.com