Technology

Australians are complaining less about mobile coverage, but are angry over excess data fees

Kirsten Robb /

Research from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman shows Aussie consumers are complaining less about their mobile services, but more users are angry over being stung with excess data costs.

The Ombudsman’s quarterly TIO Talks report, released today, shows it received fewer than 20,000 new complaints about mobile services, for the third quarter in a row.

But for the first time since January-March 2011, billing and payments became the most common concern for mobile users.

The most common issue reported under this category was excess data charges on mobile and internet services, with one out of every five billing and payments complaints in the quarter made about the extra costs users have had to shell out for data.

The report points out recent research by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which shows the average monthly mobile data use in Australia is 2GB, while the CSIRO reports more than half of Aussie mobile phone users subscribe to plans that include 1GB data or less.

Billing and payment complaints for internet services also increased 26.4% in the quarter

One in every three new internet complaints about billing and payment issues included a fault or connection issue.

A common theme was consumer dissatisfaction with being billed for a service that they had reported as faulty or that had a delayed connection.

“Where services are not connected or not operating, it is not fair for consumers to be charged for the service. This has been an emerging issue in the last year,” said Ombudsman Simon Cohen.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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