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Telstra, Belong & Optus Slammed For ‘Poor’ Service

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Telstra and their cheap subsidiary Belong have been slammed for poor service along with Optus, the bad news has been delivered as Telstra starts sacking up to 8,000 staff.

The result of a survey by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is not a surprise to those who have had to wait to get a problem fixed or had invested in Optus delivering World Cup Soccer coverage to a mobile.

According to the report consumers waited 13 days on average to get their issues fixed and up to two months on other more complex problems.

ACCAN chief executive Teresa Corbin said that while the telcos talked about serving customers better, the rhetoric didn’t stack up against real world experience. “There’s room for improvement and while the telcos are investing a lot of money into self-service platforms, customers are relying on retail stores and social media to get their problems sorted.”

Ms Corbin added that the National Broadband Network had added an extra layer of complexity for telcos and their customers.

The survey revealed that consumers routinely had to contact their telco multiple times and found it tough to escalate an issue to a formal complaint especially when dealing with an overseas call centre who primarily worked to scripts and struggled to understand English.

Telstra who have already started sacking up to 8,000 staff, were the worst performing telco with an overall score of only 43 per cent in the survey. They were singled out for making its customers contact the call centre multiple times for a single query.

Its customers also rated it poorly with regards to the knowledge of its customer service staff who often repeated an answer word for word from a script despite the answer not being relevant to the problem.

The telco’s networks have also been plagued with a series of service disruptions since early 2016, giving its customers plenty of reason to get in touch with its contact centres.

At the same time, problems with NBN rollout and cases of slow speeds have increased level of complaints for the telco operators.

Also, not up to scratch was Belong who only managed a score of 36 per cent. The cheap bottom end carrier was created to take on Woolworths, Kogan, Aldi and Amaysim and Boost.
The Australian said that Belong, which already accounts for about 5 per cent of Telstra’s total fixed-line broadband business, entered the mobile space in September last year. Telstra is expected to provide details on its performance since launch at its full-year earnings announcement in mid-August.

Optus fared poorest out of the big four telcos, with a customer satisfaction rating of 42 per cent. However, its defunct subsidiary Virgin Mobile scored the highest overall satisfaction rating of 70 per cent in the survey. Virgin Mobile was officially shut down in May, with the brand to be phased out within the next two years.

While the market leaders struggle to keep customers happy, the so-called challengers Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom are striking a sweeter note with the public.

According to the survey, 61 per cent of Vodafone customers reported a positive experience, followed by customers of TPG Telecom (54 per cent) and Vocus’s Dodo and iPrimus (52 per cent).

Virtual telco Amaysim, which runs on Optus’s mobile network and recently started selling NBN services, also fared well with a score of 53 per cent.

The report revealed that one in three customers are actively discouraged by their service provider to take their issue to the TIO.

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