NBN complaints pour in
COMPLAINTS about the telecommunications industry have increased by almost half.
Australians lodged 158,016 complaints against landline, mobile and internet providers to the telecommunications ombudsman in the past year, with Victorians making almost 30 per cent of those.
Complaints about the National Broadband Network rose to 27,195, higher than complaints about mobile phones for the first time.
Australian Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Judi Jones said complaints about services relating to the NBN had more than doubled.
Ms Jones said the matter was a cause of significant concern.
‘‘While it is necessary to acknowledge the role of the NBN in driving significant change in Australian telecommunications, complaints have increased across the board,’’ Ms Jones said.
‘‘Australians are relying more than ever before on technology to stay connected, to be informed and to do business, so it is critical that consumers are able to rely on the services they sign up for.’’
Delays were the main cause of dissatisfaction, averaging 8.3 complaints for every 1000 premises with an active connection, followed by complaints about internet and landline services delivered by the NBN.
Choice spokesperson Tom Godfrey said consumers with ongoing telecommunication issues had a right to leave their contract without penalty.
Mr Godfrey said consumers should keep detailed records of any outage they experience, including any financial impact.
‘‘Consumers should be able to cancel their contract and leave without penalty if the problem is ongoing and the telco isn’t providing its contracted service,’’ he said.
‘‘In today’s tech-reliant world, a reliable internet service has become a necessity and they are entitled to services that are reasonably fit for their purpose.’’
Ms Jones said it was likely ongoing changes in the industry would continue to drive up complaints.
❝Consumers should be able to cancel their contract❞ — Tom Godfrey