A new report from Australia’s telecommunications watchdog recorded nearly 80,000 complaints about phone and internet services in the last financial year, and while that number is substantial, it actually represents a 33.4% year-on-year decrease.
So what doesn’t work for us? They are our mobile services, according to the report of the Ombudsman of the Telecommunications Industry (TIO) (opens in a new tab). Mobile services represent the largest proportion of complaints, registering 39.7% of all complaints made.
Poor mobile coverage was also the only issue in the top 10 to increase year-over-year, with a 6.1% increase in complaints. In addition to this, the TIO found that the remaining issues in the top 10 decreased in fiscal year 2021-22.
The Ombudsman says that some of the increases in poor mobile coverage in states and territories can be attributed to natural disasters in Queensland and NSW, but does not explain all the complaints.
For example, the states that saw the largest increases in poor mobile coverage were Tasmania (up 37.2 per cent), South Australia (up 34.1 per cent) and Queensland (up 17.3 per cent). ACT was the only state or territory in Australia that did not report poor mobile coverage in its top 10 issues.
How did the telcos perform?
The TIO also revealed the top 10 telcos for complaints received in fiscal year 2021-22. Together, the top 10 account for 90.6% of all complaints received by the Ombudsman, with Telstra leading the pack with 52.5% of the total.
It’s a pretty significant part, but let’s put it in context. There were 74,135 complaints about Telstra in fiscal year 2020-21, and that number dropped to 41,741 in 2021-22 (a drop of 43.7%). Telstra is also the largest telecommunications company in Australia.
Southern Phone also saw a considerable reduction in complaints, declining by 47% in the last fiscal year. It went from 1,561 complaints in 2020-21 to 828 the following fiscal year.
Of the top 10, there were three telcos that saw an increase in complaints: Aussie Broadband, Dodo, and Medion, which operates as Aldi Mobile. Some might be surprised to see Aussie Broadband in the top 10 given its large (opens in a new tab) user feedback, but the telecommunications company recorded an 8.2% increase in complaints. In gross figures, it went from 1,047 complaints in 2020-21 to 1,133 in the 2021-22 financial year.
If you are looking for a best mobile or internet provider, we have dedicated guides to the best SIM-only plans and the best NBN plans.