Phone and internet complaints decline this quarter, with emerging problems

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s (TIO) Quarter One Complaints Report shows that between July and September 2022, home and small business customers made 16,310 complaints, a decrease of 8.6 percent compared to the first quarter. and a decrease of 23.9 percent compared to the same. time last year. Inquiries to the TIO increased by 9.1 percent compared to the last quarter.

Telephone complaints continued to be the most common complaint about service quality, accounting for 47 percent of all complaints. The number of complaints about internet, land and public services has decreased significantly.

Phone complaints about being unavailable or delayed by a provider increased 19.9 percent this quarter, and complaints about misdirection increased 25.4 percent.

The last week of the first quarter saw the start of the impact of the Optus data breach on mobile customers. Telephone complaints about the non-disclosure of personal information were five times higher than in the first quarter, the complaint numbers for this issue are low. Telephone complaints about cancellation fees also increased by 28.5 percent.

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Other important factors are:

  • Across all types of services, complaints about not being able to receive or being delayed by a provider increased by 6.8 percent, and complaints about being unable to complete a service increased by 6.8 percent. an increase of 2.6 percent compared to the previous quarter.
  • The proportion of complaints related to crime and related problems fell to 40.5 percent of the total number of complaints, compared to 47.9 percent in the first quarter.
  • Complaints from small businesses decreased by 7.8 percent this quarter.
  • Complaints against Optus and Southern Phone increased by 27.6% and 12.5% ​​respectively compared to the previous quarter. All of the remaining providers in the top ten saw a decrease in complaints.
  • Complaints about Telstra are down 20.7 per cent compared to the last quarter, and 42.3 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.
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According to Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert:

“It’s good to see a decrease in complaints overall this quarter. There continue to be some very positive improvements from the industry, including the number of bookings as the number of complaints decreases.

“We’re only beginning to see the impact of the Optus data breach on our mobile data breach issues. Allegations of privacy breaches have been included in our five mobile service claims cases for the time being This is an evolving situation, and data breach-related issues will continue in the future.

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“Disclosing your personal information is very dangerous. We have established a dedicated team to investigate these complaints closely, and we are working closely with Optus and other parties so that we can resolve complaints as efficiently and effectively as possible. possible, in a time of crisis for consumers.

“The Optus data provides an opportunity to review how they collect and manage customers’ personal information. These are important services, and mobile customers and the website the security of their data.

/ Public release. This material may be a point-in-time version from the original/author team, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author. Check it out in full here.

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