Telstra and Southern Phone saw complaints rise over 2020

Overall trend for Australia's telco industry is complaints are falling after some pandemic spikes.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Comms Alliance

Over the course of 2020, two Australian telcos saw their complaints per 10,000 services in operation (SIO) increase while the others fell, according to the latest Communications Alliance Complaints in Context report covering October to December 2020.

The first of the telcos, Southern Phone, has retained its crown as the most complained about telco in the nation, even though it has moved from 27.6 complaints to 23.7 in the past quarter, which still sits well above the 17.7 it recorded the same time last year.

Similarly, Telstra has improved from 11.1 complaints per 10,000 SIOs to 9.8 to the end of December, but that was above the 7.5 recorded for the same quarter in 2019.

For the rest of the industry, the trend has been a shift downwards, even if complaints spiked in previous quarters.

"The decrease in complaint rates for most participants reflects the hard work by all of industry to improve customer service," Comms Alliance CEO John Stanton said.

"When considering data points such as complaints, it is important to keep in mind the constant growth in the number of services in operation by telcos in Australia."

Of the telcos listed in the latest report, the industry is sitting at 7 complaints per 10,000 SIOs.

Behind Southern Phone is Commander on 16.1, MyRepublic on 14.5, Telstra at 9.8, then a gap to iiNet on 5.7, Optus with 5.2 complaints, Aussie Broadband with 4.5, TPG on 3.8, new entrant Exetel on 3, Vodafone on 2.7, Dodo at 2.1, and the now Optus-owned Amaysim on 0.3 complaints per 10,000 complaints.

Figures released last week by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman showed to the end of December, complaints were up 5.7% compared to the same time last year and small business constituted 17% of all complaints, a new high.

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