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Comms complaints fall again, but small businesses still lose

Here’s the good news. There was a 6.1 per cent overall decline in complaints about phone and internet services in the past financial year. That’s the third year on the trot the number has dropped.

So even though that’s 119,400 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, according to the annual report 2010-21, an average of 320 a day, it’s a downward curve.

But it’s not all smiles for small businesses, who experienced a 6.6 per cent rise in complaints, bringing them up to 19,689.

When coupled with a three-year high in continued financial loss, things don’t look great for average businesses, especially when complaints of financial loss due to phone and internet problems grew by 13.3 per cent. There was also an increase in complaints about telcos being uncontactable.

Small businesses also copped a 6.5 per cent complaint rise from customers for not having a working phone or internet service.

Commenting on the report, Ombudsman Judi Jones says, “The trend in small business complaints is concerning. Small businesses need reliable phone and internet services, and useful support when those services aren’t working as they should.”

But it wasn’t just the small businesses that copped flak. Telstra saw an increase of 11.3 per cent, accounting for 62.1 per cent of all complaints.

“Telcos need to continue focusing on giving great customer service,” says the Ombudsman. “This includes making it easy for customers to complain when there’s a problem and providing an effective complaints process to fix that problem.”

Consumers and small businesses with a beef about the telecommunications industry should contact tio.com.au or 1800 062 058.

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