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ACMA Slams Telcos Over Complaint Wait Times

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has slammed the nation’s telecommunications companies over the long time it takes them to resolve consumer complaints.

The lag time between the complaint between made and an appropriate resolution has leaped from an average of 8.2 days in 2018-19, to 12.2 days. This is despite the overall volume of complaints decreasing.

“The time taken to resolve complaints is going in the wrong direction and a million complaints a year is still far too many,” said ACMA Authority member Fiona Cameron.

“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.”

In addition, the telcos are satisfactorily resolving a smaller percentage of complaints, with escalations to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman jumping 7.8 to 10.7 per cent since 2019.

“This suggests that some telcos are not handling complaints at all well, and other smaller telcos are in fact not recording complaints at all,” 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.

“We think it’s time for every telco to make its complaints handling performance public and transparent.

“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.”


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