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Telecommunications complaints handling 2018 to 2019

Introduction

Large and medium-sized telcos send us data about the complaints they receive. We collect, analyse and report this data so that industry, consumers and government can better understand what sits behind these complaints.

We collect this data under the Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints) Record-Keeping Rules 2018 (the Rules).

The data includes details of certain complaint types, the access technology associated with the customer’s services, and the time taken to resolve complaints.

The data helps us to decide if there are areas of telcos’ complaints-handling performance that we need to look at more closely. It also provides transparency to industry, consumers and government.

We share information with selected telcos about how their performance compares with the rest of industry.

While we collect complaints data under the Rules quarterly, this report provides details of telcos’ complaints-handling performance over the full 2018–19 financial year.

Concerns about data

We are concerned about problems observed during 2018–19 with both the timeliness of providing complaints data and the accuracy of the data.

Providing late or inaccurate data has a serious impact on evidence-based regulation and policy making, and the transparency of complaints-handling performance to industry and consumers.

Our serious concerns with accuracy have led us to exclude the data provided by Optus from this report. We have required Optus to obtain an external audit of its compliance with the Rules. Data from Optus will be included in future reports when we are confident of its accuracy.

We expect reporting telcos to have appropriate data governance practices, systems and processes to enable complaints data to be collected, recorded, stored, verified and reported as required under the Rules.

Key figures

Complaints*

Number of complaints

97 complaints per 10,000 services

Median time taken to resolve complaints

5 days

Median proportion of complaints referred from the TIO to reporting providers

5.4 per cent

* For the 30 June 2019 quarter

 

Services in operation **

Voice (non-NBN fixed voice and NBN voice-only)

2,697,212

Mobile

21,843,713

Broadband (Non-NBN fixed broadband and NBN broadband)

5,478,508

** As at 30 June 2019

Key results

  • Total complaint numbers fell during 2018–19. The data telcos give us shows that complaints referred to telcos by the TIO also fell. The fall in complaints referred to telcos by the TIO suggests telcos are getting better at managing complaints themselves and minimising escalations to the TIO.
  • Complaints about broadband services delivered over the NBN were proportionately lower than equivalent services on old networks. NBN satellite services attracted the least complaints of all the NBN access technologies.
  • Complaints about NBN voice-only services remained high throughout 2018–19. We have requested information from industry to identify the cause of these complaints and any actions being taken to rectify them.

Download the report

To view the data and more information, download the full Telecommunications complaints-handling 2018–19 report.

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