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Telecommunications ombudsman puts companies on notice after surge in complaints

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“While we’ve seen some great improvements, Australia’s telcos need to do more to resolve complaints about mobile services, including poor mobile coverage, before consumers come to my office for help,” she said.

“Mobile services are essential for things like banking, shopping, accessing health and government services, and connecting socially, and consumers tell us their lives are disrupted when they experience problems with their mobile service.”

Mobile complaints that had a fault or connection issue increased by 2.4 percent. Fault and connection complaints decreased for all other service types.

Problems with poor mobile coverage appeared in the top 10 issues in all states and territories except for the Australian Capital Territory.

Complaints about telcos increased for Aussie Broadband, Dodo and Medion (offering products and services under the brand “ALDImobile”). The number of complaints about Telstra decreased by 43.7 percent this year, and complaints about Southern Phone dropped by 47 percent.

“Our data shows that in the last financial year, as the pandemic cooled down, fewer premises were connected to the NBN network, industry improvements were made and internet complaints decreased significantly,” Gebert said.

Residential consumers and small businesses made 79,534 complaints about phone and internet services overall, a 33.4 percent decrease compared to the previous financial year ending June 30.

Most complaints received from residential consumers were about internet and mobile phone services.

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Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the ombudsman’s figures confirmed the job of improving coverage across Australia was incomplete.

“That’s why our Better Connectivity Plan is a priority for the Albanian government,” she said.

“Our Plan will make serious inroads to improving mobile coverage, not just through the delivery of local projects, but also through the independent national audit of mobile coverage to allow the government, telcos and industry to make high-impact investment decisions.”

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