ACMA sees 15% drop in total telco complaints even though they're taking longer to resolve

The Australian Communications and Media Authority said total telco complaints dropped from 323,804 to 274,290 during the January to March 2021 quarter.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Latest figures from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has indicated there was a 15% year-on-year drop in telecommunications complaints from 323,804 to 274,290 during the January to March 2021 quarter.

Based on complaints per 10,000 services that also decreased by nearly 15% year on year from 74 to 63 during the period.

Of the total complaints, about half were about mobile services, followed by NBN broadband at 67,005, while complaints about other services accounted for 43,332, fixed-line broadband for 12,007, fixed-line voice 10,498, and 2,341 were about NBN voice-only services.

Breaking down the complaints related to NBN broadband further, one third -- 23,553 -- were about fibre to the node, 18,262 were about HFC, and 10,825 were in relation to fibre to the curb.

Image: ACMA

The data matches up with what the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman reported earlier this month, which found there were 4,004 fewer total complaints year-on-year during the same January to March period.

"Reports from the ACMA and the TIO continue to show decreasing complaint rates, underlining that telcos are improving customer service while deploying new technologies, increasing broadband speeds, and consistently offering more value," Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said.

Despite a decrease in complaints, the latest ACMA telecommunications complaints data showed the weighted average days to resolve a complaint increased during the quarter by 7.5% from 9.3 to 10 days. The average telco took 5.5 days to resolve a complaint. One telco, which was the slowest, took 16 days to resolve a complaint.

During the quarter, complaint escalation rates also rose by 1 percentage point from 9.8% to 10.8%, with a total of 29,533 escalated complaints recorded.

The Communications Alliance attributed the slight increases to the possibility that given the significant decrease in overall complaint numbers, with fewer "quick to resolve" issues raising to the level of a complaint, it would mean consumers are seeing more straightforward issues resolved faster.

"While there is still more work to be done and telcos will always continue working to improve customer experience, we are proud of the progress made thus far and hope to see this trend continue," Stanton said.

Related Coverage

Editorial standards