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Telco Ombudsman Concerned After SME Complaints Jump 28%

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has expressed concern after small business complaints soared 28% during July – September 2020, lead by internet services.

According to the TIO, residential and small businesses made 34,476 complaints about phone and internet services in Q1 – up 3.4% versus the previous quarter.

The results mark the third consecutive quarter of incremental growth in overall complaints.

Ombudsman, Judi Jones, states the sharp increase in complaints from small businesses is concerning, especially as Australia seeks to economically recover from the COVID19 crisis.

“I have said before the relationship between small businesses and their providers is vital to the businesses’ ongoing success”

“Any issues between a small business and their provider in the delivery of a service can have significant consequences and I urge the parties to work together on solutions”

“We are continuing to share the insights learned from our data our with the telcos to improve the consumer experience.”

Complaints from small businesses jumped 28% to 5,527, representing 16% of total complaints – the highest proportion and volume for small business complaints in the last five quarters.

The highest complained about category was ‘multiple services’, offering a combined frustration as complaints across all service types (phone, internet and landline) climbed during the three months.

Increases were recorded across all top ten issues from small businesses – complaints about being unable to contact a provider and business loss compensation climbed 47% and 42% respectively.

Internet services remain the most complained about service type, however, the volume of complaints decreased in the quarter overall.

Telstra fared an increase in complaints of just over 27% compared to the previous quarter.

Complaints about the top ten providers slipped in volume and proportion versus the previous quarter, with the exception of Telstra, Boost and Southern Phone.

Read the TIO’s latest report in full here.

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