Telco complaints on the rise again: TIO

Complaints about telcos to the ombudsman have risen over the last quarter, with Optus again experiencing the highest complaints ratio, followed by Telstra.

The Australian Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has published its complaint statistics for January to March 2016, revealing that complaints about all telcos rose to 6.2 per 10,000 services in operation (SIO), an increase of 29.2 percent quarter on quarter.

Every quarter, the TIO, in conjunction with Communications Alliance, publishes a Complaints in Context report [PDF] covering landline, mobile, and internet service complaints from residential and small business consumers.

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(Image: Screenshot by Corinne Reichert/ZDNet)

While it focuses on transitioning from being a pure telco to a multimedia company, highest in the complaints ratio was again Optus, which saw 7.9 complaints per 10,000 SIO. This signalled a jump of 33.9 percent quarter on quarter, or 8.2 percent year on year.

Telstra -- which experienced three network outages over the period examined -- had the second-highest ratio of complaints, with 6.4 per 10,000 SIO. This accounted for a 30.6 percent increase in complaints since the October to December 2015 quarter, though a 7.2 percent decrease year on year.

Vodafone remained relatively stable over the quarter, with an increase of just 5.7 percent quarter on quarter to 3.7 complaints per 10,000 SIO -- but a substantial drop of 57 percent year on year.

"At Vodafone, we're very proud to offer to our customers a first-class network and exceptional service," a Vodafone spokesperson said in response to the report.

"It's therefore pleasing to see customer satisfaction remains high, with our complaints ratio 60 percent lower than the industry average for the March 2016 quarter. The result sees Vodafone record the lowest ratio of complaints of the major telcos for the third quarter in a row, and also represents a 57 percent decrease in complaints compared to the same period in the previous year.

"Over recent years, Vodafone has achieved an extraordinary turnaround, and is now setting new industry benchmarks in complaint reduction."

Amaysim, which saw its six-month net profit plummet by 96 percent to just AU$681,000 off the back of its Vaya purchase, had just one complaint per 10,000 SIO, though this signalled an increase of 42.9 percent from last quarter's 0.7. It was, however, also a drop of 33.3 percent from last year's 1.5 complaints.