Aussie telcos hit with record complaints

‘Queen of pain’ scolds industry for ailing track record.

Complaints against telecommunications providers are skyrocketing with no end in sight, according to the industry ombudsman.

The Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (TIO) office received 102,463 complaints last year, up from 55,515 in 2003, and is expected to set another record by year's end.

TIO Deirdre O'Donnell said the office has almost doubled its staff to 170 to handle the deluge, since she took the job 12 months ago.

“About 80 percent of break-downs between consumers and telcos happen because of a lack of communication,” O'Donnell said.

“I am the busiest ombudsman in Australia. There were about 200,000 complaints registered between 19 ombudsmen from industries like energy, insurance and banking, and I alone had 75 percent of that in 2007.

“The complaints are across the board and it sends a very bad message about the industry.”

O'Donnell, a former WA state ombudsman also known as “the queen of pain”, played down the influence of the proliferation of broadband and mobile devices on the figures, and said the industry has continually ignored challenges by the TIO office to lift their act. There are about 19.7 million mobile phones in use according to TIO figures.

“It is a simple fix for most of these problems which stem from not calling customers back, and giving them a run around” she said. “It should be embarrassing.”

The office took a record 5100 complaints last week, a increase of one third over the previous high.

O'Donnell said the complaints are “absolutely the same” as those received by utility industries.

She said companies need to give customers “ownership of the bill” which requires better customer service for billing enquiries and active education of users to ensure they understand the potential costs of a service.

The office is set to launch a campaign to reward telcos for good customer service within a month, however O'Donnell was mum on how it will operate, noting that it will “target CEOs”.

The TIO loses about one industry member a week, according to O'Donnell, which she puts down to market consolidation.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Darren Pauli

Computerworld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?