Technology

Courtney Allan

“Unacceptable”: Consumers rage as they’re left without phone or internet for days on end

“Unacceptable”: Consumers rage as they’re left without phone or internet for days on end

Aussie users are fed up with the lack of service on their phones and internet services and have flooded Australia’s telco providers with nearly half a million complaints over just three months.

The data was found in a new report done by the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Telecommunications complaints handling report.

Telecommunications companies received 448,470 complaints between October and December last year.

That number represents a 12.7 per cent increase in the amount of complaints made to telcos compared to the previous three months.

The average time it took for telcos to resolve complaints ranged from one to 13 days, with an average time of six days, ACMA said.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) described the figures as disappointing.

“When people buy a product or service, they rightly expect it to work as promised,” ACCAN chief executive Teresa Corbin said to The New Daily.

“It’s simply unacceptable for the millions of Australians who are connected to essential communications services to be left waiting for days on end without the service they have paid for.

“Consumers should have a right to reliability.”

RMIT university professor in network engineering Mark Gregory said that the figures show that Aussie consumers are being let down.

“The number of faults and service interruptions experienced by Australian consumers remains far higher than what is reasonable and reflects the need for the telecommunications industry to do more to provide consumers with an improved experience,” Dr Gregory said.

Many complaints tend to be related to the NBN. Dr Gregory said that the government’s “failure” to roll out fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is “costing consumers more and this operations and maintenance cost is expected to grow over time, making FTTP a far cheaper and more reliable technology in the short term,” Dr Gregory said. 

However, a spokesman for the NBN said that the firm has made “significant investments to work with the telco industry to improve customer experience and we are starting to see the early signs of that”.

“But we are quickly learning how to improve our processes and customer experience, as acknowledged in the ACMA report which noted the rate of FTTC complaints over the September to December quarters fell 33 per cent”.