26 September 2023

Telco complaints signal a decline

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has revealed that complaints against telecommunications companies fell during the past financial year.

The ACMA said a total of 1.4 million complaints were received over the financial year, dropping from a high of 124 complaints per 10,000 services in the second quarter to 97 in the final quarter.

The median time taken to resolve these complaints decreased from six to five days over the year.

Chair of the ACMA, Nerida O’Loughlin said the data was a key to informing the Government and the industry about where problems lay, allowing the sector to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction.

“This demonstrates that the initiatives driven by the Government and the sector are gaining traction and customer service is improving,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“It must be acknowledged however, that complaint levels are still too high.”

She said complaints about broadband services delivered over the National Broadband Network (NBN) had reduced and averaged 193 per 10,000 services compared to complaints about the old fixed broadband network which averaged 369.

Complaints about voice-only services delivered over the NBN had remained high over the year averaging 494 complaints per 10,000 services — the highest complaint rate of all services.

“The ACMA has written to providers requesting information about the root cause of these complaints and action being taken to rectify them,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

She said a small number of telcos needed to improve the accuracy of data they provided.

“This is highlighted by Optus’ data being excluded from this report due to multiple amendments of its data submissions, and ongoing data anomalies,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“As a result, the ACMA has used its powers to require Optus to obtain an external audit of its compliance with the ACMA’s record-keeping rules.”

The 15-page report can be accessed at this PS New link.

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