NBN Complaints Are Up, Now There's A 'Reform' Coming - Sound Familiar?
17 April, 2018, 16:47 | Author: Regina Silva
The number of complaints about the national broadband service increased more than 200% in the last six months of 2017, according to a report filed by the telecommunications industry ombudsman (TIO).
According to the TIO's report, for the period of July to December a year ago, there were 22,827 complaints related to the NBN, a 203.9% increase in complaints for the same period in 2016. Compared to the preceding 6 month (January to June 2017) period, when the TIO saw 92,046 total complaints, the total number of complaints between July and December 2017 decreased by 7.75 percent, the TIO also said.
"With "provider response" being the top issue raised by customers who complain in relation to a service delivered over the NBN, our industry will be working to improve the end-to-end experience, including through improved assistance between providers in the supply chain to resolve complaints", Gillespie-Jones said.
The TIO is clearly aware of that, as in its previous six-monthly update it observed that "The rate of increase in these complaints is slower than the rate of new premises connected to the national broadband network".
The report also found that there were 84,914 complaints about internet, mobile and landline services in the same period for both residential dwellings and small businesses, citing charges and fees, unsatisfactory response from providers, poor service quality and having no service at all.
"The changes mean our data will more accurately reflect the description of complaints given by residential consumers and small businesses".
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Indeed, the ACMA is now consulting on a number of proposed industry standards, including the provision of information to consumers about retail services supplied over the NBN and the handling of complaints made by consumers to retail carriage service providers (CSPs).
"Our recording of the issues is now based on six broad categories that follow the lifecycle of a residential consumer or small business' relationship with their provider", Ombudsman Judi Jones said. Complaints about mobile phone services (29.4%) and internet services (28%) were close behind.
New South Wales topped the list with almost 26,914 complaints, up almost 30% on the same period in 2016, followed by Victoria with 23,954, and a similar increase.
NBN Co says orders for NBN wholesales speeds of 50Mbps or higher rose from 16 per cent in December to 37 per cent, with more than one million people upgrading their internet speeds in the last four months.
As previously reported, NBN-related complaints have slowed since the beginning of 2018.
More Australians are being connected to the NBN than ever before and with this new service comes. a few bumps in the road.
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