There Were Nearly 120,000 Telco Complaints Made to the TIO This Year

There Were Nearly 120,000 Telco Complaints Made to the TIO This Year

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) – the place you go to complain about your telco provider – received less complaints this year than last, but it still recorded a whopping 119,400 of them.

According to a report from the ACCC, these complaints were mostly about internet. Not the internet itself, but more so our issues with actually being able to use the darn thing.

39,857 complaints were made regarding ‘internet’, 39,094 had to do with ‘mobile’ and 26,655 complaints had to do with multiple issues. Absolutely none of us are shocked to hear this.

Of the 119,400 complaints escalated to the TIO, 46,533 were related to our providers simply not doing anything about our issues. We actually heard this from the TIO in November, when it revealed complaints about phone and internet had once again declined, but there were still a lot of complaints that are being made against telcos not actually doing anything to fix our problems.

The TIO provides a dispute resolution service for telecommunications disputes between service operators and residential and small business customers. Consumers can also complain to the ACCC about their teclo. And in 2020-21 we did, 5,789 times.

While we can complain to the ACCC, the consumer watchdog focuses on situations that may impact vulnerable consumers, harm the competitive process or result in widespread consumer or small business detriment.

In the case of it being outside the ACCC’s pay grade, individuals may be referred to dispute handling organisations that are better placed to assist.

Communications-related complaints to the ACCC are similar to those reported to the TIO, with service quality and connection issues continuing to be significant consumer concerns.

But of those 5,789 complaints made to the ACCC, 2,044 were regarding misleading or deceptive conduct undertaken by our telco.

“Approximately 81 per cent of these complaints were referred to other agencies, mainly to the TIO and state-based agencies which are tasked with resolving consumer complaints and investigating issues outside of the ACCC’s remit,” the ACCC said.

So who was the most complained about?

Telstra, including its budget brand Belong. 1,466 of the complaints made to the ACCC pointed at Telstra and diet Telstra (Belong).

Optus came in second at 602 complaints, TPG (which included iiNet but not Vodafone) in third with 274 complaints and Vodafone in fourth with 219 complaints against its name.

Only 28 people had something to complain about regarding Internode.

The TIO section didn’t break down which telco had the most complaints directed at it, unfortunately.