Telcos still ignore customer complaints, says TIO

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Telcos still ignore customer complaints, says TIO

Customers believe service providers don't really care.

More Australians are complaining about the levels of service provided by ISPs and mobile phone companies than ever before, according to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), which has told the industry to improve customer experience.

Customers are "feeling their phone or internet company did not really care about them, or did not follow through on commitments," according to the Ombudsman, Deirdre O'Donnell, in the TIO's 2008/09 Annual Report.

The TIO reported that issues relating to companies either ignoring or not satisfactorily handling customer complaints had increased by 130 percent compared to the previous year. Complaints regarding credit management had increased by 118 percent over the same period.

Overall, the TIO received 230,065 complaints from consumers and small businesses, which was a 54 percent increase.

For the first time, more people complained about their mobile phone service than their landlines, which according to O'Donnell was due to the increased penetration of mobile handsets and diverse variety of services offered.

Total complaints about mobile phone services increased by 79 percent, while complaints directed at ISPs, landlines and premium mobile phone services grew by 57 percent, 40 percent and 13 percent respectively.

Looking at individual companies, Telstra notched up 103,831 complaints - almost half of the total complaints made - while Optus recorded 31,210.

Click here for a PDF version of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) report.

The TIO this year launched a campaign called connect.resolve to improve complaints resolution in the telecommunications sector.

The Federal Government also put up $700,000 for the establishment of a new national peak body, the Australian Communications Consumers Action Network (ACCAN), to provide telecommunications consumers with a stronger unified voice.

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