Telco consumer complaints continue to fall | ACMA

Telco consumer complaints continue to fall

The Australian Communications and Media Authority welcomes a further drop in complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), as announced today by the TIO.

‘The 12 per cent annual decrease in new complaints is another positive sign that the industry is improving customer care,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

‘Three consecutive years of decline in TIO complaint numbers since 2010-11 – down 30 per cent in total – also suggests that the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code) is providing more effective safeguards to consumers.’ 

The TCP Code—which comprehensively delivers on the key recommendations of the ACMA’s Reconnecting the Customer report—introduced a range of initiatives from 1 September 2012, including spend management alerts, unit pricing, critical information summaries and improved complaint handling practices.

‘It’s also encouraging to see that complaint issues about mobile network performance fell by 55 per cent since last year,’ Mr Chapman added. ‘This reflects significant network investments by industry and perhaps a sharper focus on customer service in this particular area since the ACMA announced its Mobile Network Performance Forum initiative last year.’

The ACMA is continuing its compliance activities to ensure that all telco providers comply with the TCP code requirements. 

The ACMA’s compliance activities over the next year will focus on usage alerts, customer transfer and complaint handling.

For more information see the backgrounder below or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or

Media release 57/2014 - 17 September



The TCP Code recently celebrated its second birthday. It was registered in September 2012 and contains a number of consumer protections, many of which were aimed at addressing key areas such as bill shock and confusing phone plans.  Key elements include Critical Information Summaries which allow consumers to more easily compare products, and notifications about data usage and expenditure thresholds.

The TCP Code has also resulted in faster and better complaints handling by providers, with urgent complaints to be resolved within two days. 

The registration of the TCP Code in 2012 followed the ACMA’s Reconnecting the Customer public inquiry which examined the causes of customer dissatisfaction with providers and it would consider changes to improve the quality of customer care. 

The TIO provides a free external dispute resolution service aimed at settling disputes quickly, in an objective and non-bureaucratic way.  The TIO is an industry-funded service with its income generated solely from its members who are charged fees when complaints are received by the TIO from one of their customers.

Should a customer have a complaint about their service provider, they should lodge a complaint with the provider and give them the opportunity to resolve the issue.  Where their complaint is not satisfactorily resolved, the consumer can contact the TIO. 


Last updated: 21 November 2017