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Complaints to Australian telco ombudsman continue to fall

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has reported that it handled the lowest number of complaints for a quarter since the end of 2007.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has today announced that for the July-September quarter of this year, the 35,756 complaints filed with the Ombudsman were the lowest number of complaints handed by the body since October-December 2007.

Although the number of complaints was down 16 percent on the previous quarter, the percent of investigations requiring TIO conciliation, or requiring the TIO to provide advice on an outcome, were up 2.2 and 11.6 percent, respectively. No cases for the quarter needed the TIO to provide a decision after a detailed investigation.

Mobile service continued to be the majority service complained about, but the number of complaints decreased to 19,176 filings, which represented a decline of 19.9 percent on the previous quarter, and a 11.7 percent drop on the same time last year. It is the first time in three years that the number of mobile complaints filed in a quarter has dropped below 20,000.

Complaints about mobile service coverage fell by 41 percent to 4,068 issues, while landline complaints dropped by 9.2 percent to 8,478, and internet service complaints fall by 12.6 percent to 7,690 issues.

Broken down by the three dominant carriers, each managed a fall from the previous quarter, but Optus was the only telco to register a fall from the same time last year.

Optus experienced a 50.7 percent decline in complaints year on year, and a 27.3 percent drop from the previous quarter. Vodafone saw complaints rise 4.6 percent compared to last year, but complaints fell by 28.4 percent quarter on quarter. Telstra had the biggest increase of complaints from this time last year, clocking in with a 5.7 percent rise but gaining a 10 percent fall from last quarter.

The TIO has seen a series of declines in the number of complaints handed since the 2010-11 financial year peak of 197,682 complaints filed.

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