It’s been revealed that the time to resolve complaints made about Australian telcos has increased by 50 per cent compared to two years ago.
There were more than one million complaints made by Australian customers about issues with their telecommunication companies in the last financial year, with the time taken to resolve them blowing out.
A report released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found the average time taken for telcos to resolve customer complaints was 12.2 days.
This has soared by a whopping 49 per cent in the last two years, up from 8.2 days in the 2018-19 financial year.
ACMA authority member Fiona Cameron said rules it introduced in 2018-19 have contributed to a decline in complaints by more than 35 per cent from just under 1.7 million.
“The time taken to resolve complaints is going in the wrong direction and one million complaints a year is still far too many,” she said.
“With so many people working from home due to Covid restrictions, it is more important than ever that telcos prioritise fixing problems and we are looking to industry to improve in this area.”
New figures also showed a jump in complaints that were not resolved by telcos, which had to be escalated to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), increasing from 7.8 per cent to 10.7 per cent in two years.
“This suggests that some telcos are not handling complaints at all well, and other smaller telcos are in fact not recording complaints at all,” Ms Cameron said.
“Seven smaller telcos have absurdly high escalation rates, just above 50 per cent, which indicates that some complaints are not being recorded in the first place and only being logged when escalated to the TIO.”
The data comes from ACMA’s annual telco complaints report 2020/21, which offers anonymised data on how more than 30 top telcos are performing and areas where they need to improve.
“We think it’s time for every telco to make its complaints handling performance public and transparent,” Ms Camerson said.
“This would allow consumers to make more informed decisions when choosing a telco provider, including what to expect when things don’t go to plan.”