Telstra, Optus and Vodafone lift their game as TIO complaints drop to a six-year low

Australian telecommunications providers are lifting their game, with complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman falling to its lowest level in six years, according to new figures.

The TIO figures for the December quarter of 2013 show a 21% quarter-on-quarter drop in complaints about transferring services between providers, a 19% fall in complaint handling issues and a 17% drop in faults.

Overall, complaints fell by 6.7% during the quarter, including a 9.2% fall in complaints about landline services, to just 7701 for the quarter.

Meanwhile, the figures also show there were 18,234 new complaints about mobile services during the quarter, down 4.9%, with a reduction in the number of disputed bills a key factor.

In a statement, ombudsman Simon Cohan cited a reduction in mobile complaints as being key to the results.

“In the October to December quarter of 2013, fewer complaints were made to the TIO than at any time over the past six years. This is a considerable achievement, and a key reason has been the substantial reduction in mobile phone complaints, especially those related to the performance of mobile services.

“Complaints by consumers about coverage have more than halved over the past six months, and drop out and slow data speed complaints have also reduced. It is a positive story for an industry that has very publicly committed to doing better by its customers, and that has invested substantially in mobile network infrastructure.”

In a separate statement, ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman described the result as “encouraging”.

“It is very encouraging to see this trend continuing.

“In particular, it is heartening to see complaints are down in each of the three core categories. The industry is continuing to make positive changes in line with the revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (the TCP Code).”

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