Lower Consumer complaints in Q2

Consumer complaints against telcos fall in Q2

New Complaints Per 10,000 Services in Operation

New consumer complaints against telcos has dropped 9.7% in the second quarter of 2015, after a shocking rise of 12.1% in the first quarter of 2015.

According to the Telecommunications Complaints in Context (TCC) report jointly published today by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) and Communications Alliance, this is the lowest level of new complaints since 2007-2008.
New Complaints Per 10,000 Services in Operation
The rise in the first quarter has been brushed off by John Stanton, CEO of Communications Alliance as “normal seasonal stuff”.

He says, “The first quarter always has the highest number of complaints which seems to relate to people having just bought new devices and experiencing issues with them,” adding that the first quarter of this year was much lower than the corresponding quarter of last year.

He explained, “The report reflects how many complaints were made to the TIO, per 10,000 services, for each of the five telco providers in the trial.”

This quarter shows continuing good news, he said. “For every 10,000 services there are only about 6 complaints and that number has been coming down fairly steadily during the past 18 months.

“It reflects the overall industry performance, which has seen complaints cut by more than 40% over the past 3 years since the TCC came into operation.”

Ombudsman Diane Carmody agrees, “Overall, the results for the telcos that take part in the Complaints in Context Report reflect what the TIO has been seeing for the past four years – that fewer people are complaining about their telcos.

Stanton’s view is that the TCC is a strong contributing factor to this decline. “The market has matured. It’s not growing as fast as it used to,” he said. “And service providers are focusing on customer service as a way of retaining customers and gaining new ones.

“That’s where the competitive battleground is, which is a good thing for consumers.”

Carmody echoes this point. “The overall result …shows that telcos are lifting their game when it comes to customer service and handling complaints. There is no reason why this improvement shouldn’t continue.”

According to the report, the service providers in order of number of complaints were Optus (8.5/10,000), Vodaphone (6.3/10,000 services), Telstra (6/10,000 services), Amaysim and Pivotel (1.8/10,000 services).

Telstra recorded its lowest Complaints in Context result to date—a 13 per cent reduction from January-March 2015.

Optus complaints increased to 8.5 from 7.3 the previous quarter. Optus told the TIO that an increase in landline and internet fault complaints during April-June 2015 was a factor that contributed to this increase.

Vodafone’s complaints were almost half compared to the same period in 2014 and have fallen below the result for all participants for the first time, reflecting a drop in new complaints over the financial year.

Director of customer service, Vodaphone, Errol Van Grann at Vodaphone said, “It’s very pleasing to see our customers are even happier with their Vodafone experience, with the ratio of complaints in the April quarter less than one third of that just 18 months before.

”Our aim is to be best-in-business, and it’s encouraging that our ratio is now below the industry average. We attribute this result to our continued investment in our strong network and customer service operations, our award-winning bill shock initiatives and more simplified products.

The Telecommunications Complaints in Context report, which covers just five providers, is not to be confused with the TIO Talks report, which contains the complaints data for all the telcos. The TIO Talks report has not yet been published.

Source: iTWire, section Telecoms and NBN, 13 November 2015, By