Australian consumers and small businesses are less satisfied than before about landline, mobile and internet services.
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) received a total of 84,914 complaints in the last six months of 2017. This was an increase of 28.7% over the same six month period in 2016.
Complaints about services delivered over the National Broadband Network increased over 200%, though this reflects the faster rollout of the NBN. The actual number of complaints in the period was 22,827, about one third being delays in establishing a connection, and the rest service quality.
Complaints from residential consumers made up 88%. About 75,000 complaints were more or less euqally divided between mobile phone services, internet services and combined multiple services. Most of the rest were complaints about mobile phone services. The remaining 657 complaints were related to property.
The most common issues were charges and fees, unsatisfactory responses from providers, and poor service quality.
Complaints about multiple services made up about 40% of Small Business complaints. Landline and mobile phone services made up roughly the same amount, with internet services attracting 17.3% of complaints.
All states and territories saw a growth in complaints, with Queensland recording the highest, an increase of 39.3%, followed by Western Australia with a 36.5% increase. Victorians came in 5th, with an increase just over 30%.
Ombudsman Judi Jones said consumers still faced the same problems with bills and customer service, and had low confidence in most aspects of the services.