Majority of NBN complaints land at RSPs' doorsteps

Lloyd Doyle
April 16, 2018

But NBN Co chief customer officer Brad Whitcomb defended the company's performance, saying only 1052 of the 22,827 complaints about the NBN were sent back to the company to resolve.

However, the statement claimed that the large share of mobile complaints (29%) highlighted that the rollout of, and migration to, the NBN were not exclusively responsible for the increase in complaints meaning that industry needed to address customer service and complaint handling more broadly.

Complaints about the national broadband network soared more than 200% over the last six months of a year ago, according to a new report from the telecommunications industry ombudsman, with rising customer dissatisfaction about phone and internet services prompting a new government review.

Out of the 22,827 complaints, more than 14,000 were about the quality of the service and more than 8,000 about establishing a connection.

"This indicates the consumer experience is still not meeting expectations for all".

NBN Co said that the total number of complaints made to the TIO about services delivered over its network equates to 0.67 per cent of total activated services on the NBN access network.

She said recent changes to regulation and rules put in place to resolve complaints, including the consumer watchdog's enforceable undertakings, speed monitoring and NBN's move to temporarily slash the cost of top-tier internet speeds, are positive steps that will help improve the consumer experience.

The minister said the government had already directed the Australian Communications and Media Authority to work to give consumers a better experience during the NBN transition and imposed a complaints handling standard.

"The second half of 2017 represented one of the most significant periods of the rollout in terms of prioritising the customer experience".

"Our industry can not be satisfied with these numbers and we will continue to implement measures - including through the enforceable Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code that is now being revised - created to improve the overall customer experience".

The TIO figures do not represent all complaints related to Internet services, including NBN services - the figures include only those where a complaint has been made to the ombudsman.

Telecommunications giants have been warned to lift their game following the release of eye-watering half-yearly complaints figures, with the federal government launching a fresh review into customer safeguards.

Over the last six months, Australia's biggest telcos have been forced to offer compensation to tens of thousands of their NBN customers who were sold services with unachievable speeds.

The rampant communication breakdowns were revealed in the TIO's latest report today, which showed Australians lodged 84,914 complaints with the Ombudsman after failing to reach a solution with their service provider - a rise of 28 per cent.

Beginning on 1 July past year the TIO changed how it records complaints.

Small businesses complained more about landline phone services (21.9 per cent) and mobile phone services (20.9 per cent) than internet services (17.3 per cent).

NBN Co also noted a decline of 16 per cent in the rate of complaints compared to the first half of 2017 - by volume, when compared to the total number of connections in service.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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