The ACMA congratulates the telecommunications industry following the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s (TIO’s) announcement that the level of overall complaints it received for the September 2015 quarter is at a nine-year low.
Since the June quarter all complaint types—landline, mobile, internet and mobile premium services—have come down, with a decrease of 17 per cent overall.
Internet complaints about unusable services, point of sale advice and a failure to action undertakings have all shown marked decreases compared to the June quarter.
In comparison to the same quarter a year ago, mobile complaints have decreased by almost 33 per cent. As reported in the TIO’s 2014–15 annual report, this enormous decline is attributed to telcos continued investment in infrastructure resulting in better mobile coverage. Mobile data and call usage alerts as required by the C628:2015 Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code) are also seen to be contributing.
However mobile premium services and third-party charges complaints saw an increase of just over 40 per cent compared to this time last year. This is an area where more work needs to be done to identify poor industry behaviours and reasons for discontent, noting complaints continue to be centered on billing and payments issues.
The complaints statistics reflect the significant improvements consumers have enjoyed due in part to the success of the TCP Code. In November 2015, an economics benefits assessment conducted by the ACMA estimated that Australian consumers have benefited in the order of at least $545 million each year since September 2012 as a result of reduced complaints, consumers choosing plans more appropriate for their consumption behavior and reductions in unexpectedly high bills.