NBN CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS SOAR
AUSTRALIA’S National Broadband Network has earned its worst report card to date, with official complaints about poor service and delayed connections on the network more than tripling in the last half of 2017.
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Judi Jones told News Corp skyrocketing NBN complaints showed service on the $49 billion network was still falling short of consumers’ expectations, in a trend she labelled “concerning”.
But unresolved issues with phone and internet services increased “across the board” in Australia, she said, with consumers and small businesses lodging almost 20,000 more complaints between July and December 2017 than they did the year before.
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.
Mobile phone services proved the biggest source of complaints, followed by internet connections, and the most common gripes involved fees, poor responses, and service quality. But complaints about the National Broadband Network soared well above the average, as customer grievances rose 203 per cent.
Ms Jones said some growth in complaints was to be expected, given its expanding reach, but the jump in complaints showed the NBN was “still not meeting expectations”.
Most NBN complaints lodged with the TIO involved issues with “service quality,” though some consumers complained about “problems establishing a connection” to the network. 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.