Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Complaints to TIO about NBN rise strongly

Complaints to TIO about NBN rise strongly

To put that in perspective, however, there were 3.4 million people with services on the NBN in the time period, and close to one million were signed onto the service in the six months.

The Telcom Industry Ombudsman's (TIO) latest report has revealed NBN related complaints soared over 200% in the second half of 2017 [versus the same period in 2016] - news which has triggered a fresh review from the Federal Government.

He warned against "collective punishment through sweeping rule and regulation changes", arguing that it "is not the answer now" and that "it has never worked in other industries".

"An increasing range of products and services are being offered to consumers, expectations for the quality of phone and internet services are high, and the rollout of the National Broadband Network is changing the way we use telecommunications services", said Ombudsman Judi Jones.

Indeed, the ACMA is now consulting on a number of proposed industry standards, including the provision of information to consumers about retail services supplied over the NBN and the handling of complaints made by consumers to retail carriage service providers (CSPs).

The rise in higher plan orders was driven by the company's move a year ago to temporarily slash its top speed packages for retail service providers in a bid to boost top-tier use and respond to concerns expressed about its data charges.

According to Jones, the TIO has also changed its service type categorisation for each complaint, with five categories: Mobile phone, internet, landline phone, multiple services, and damage or access to property. Confidence in services being updated or transferred reliably, faulty equipment, and poor service quality were also recorded as key issues. Complaints about mobile phone services (29.4%) and internet services (28%) were close behind. Obviously, the huge influx of new connections and NBN users is going to see the issues with the service rise by pure weight of numbers, especially if that service is constantly being taken out by a vehicle.

Of all complaints, 74,729 came from residential consumers and 9,947 from small businesses. Victoria brought in 23,954 complaints, up 30.5 percent; Queensland 16,418 complaints, up 39.3 percent; Western Australia 7,381 complaints, up 36.5 percent; South Australia 6,552 complaints, up 22.7 percent; Tasmania 1,614 complaints, up 33.1 percent; the Australian Capital Territory 1,184 complaints, up 11 percent; and the Northern Territory 504 complaints, up 20 percent.

A total of 14,055 of these complaints were related to the quality of service on the NBN, and 8.757 complaints were related to the installation of the NBN.

The TIO's NBN-related complaints jumped in all Australian states, with QLD, TAS, WA and VIC notching especially high increases.

More Australians are being connected to the NBN than ever before and with this new service comes. a few bumps in the road.

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