NBN com­plaints pour in

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS -

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

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