• Top 10 Providers
  • The Provider With the Most Complaints
  • The Provider With the Most Improved Service

The main purpose of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) is to provide fair and independent resolution to issues raised about the services provided by the telecommunications networks. Their goal is to enhance and improve the outcomes for all consumers. In line with this, it is a good idea to take a look into the telco provider receiving the most complaints, as well as the one rendering the most improved service.

Top 10 Providers

In the latest report from TIO, the top 10 providers refer to the ones who were able to log the most number of complaints during the time frame in focus. However, the data reflected in the report does not include the number of their subscribers, as well as their services in operation. It doesn't mean though that the provider or the network is immediately at fault when a customer makes a complaint.

In this case, the top 10 providers in the year 2019-2020 are:

  1. Telstra Corporation
  2. Optus Group
  3. TPG Internet Pty Ltd
  4. Vodafone Australia Limited
  5. iiNet Ltd
  6. Dodo Services Pty Ltd
  7. Southern Phone Company Ltd
  8. M2 Commander Pty Ltd
  9. Exetel Pty Ltd
  10. MyRepublic Pty Ltd

The complaints received by the top 10 providers garnered 92.2% of the total complaints logged in 2019-2020, which is not far from the figures recorded in 2018-2019. What is notable, however, is that the number of providers who were able to log complaints fell to 348 this year, compared to last year's 417 number. This should be taken as a positive sign because this means that the telecommunications sector is taking the necessary measures to improve their services and handle the complaints they receive accordingly.

The Provider With the Most Complaints

Among the top 10 providers in the list above, it is notable that complaints about Telstra Corporation accounted for more than half of all the complaints logged in 2019-2020. Overall, they were able to record 66,612 total complaints, which is not far from their recorded complaints in the previous year which reached 66,402. This encompasses the service and equipment fees, which is the top issue in residential complaints, as well as the lack, or delayed action by the provider, which is the top issue in small business complaints.

The Provider With the Most Improved Service

Based on the report provided by the TIO, the provider with the most improved service is Optus Group, which saw a significant fall in their complaint numbers. From 31,629 of the previous year, their complaint numbers are down to 26,205 this year, which is roughly a 17.1% decrease. It should be noted that the Optus Group includes the Virgin brand.

The Most Common Issues in Complaints

In the year 2019-2020, a total of 127,151 complaints were recorded, 85% of which came from residential customers, and the rest from small business subscribers. In line with this, below are some of the issues in the complaints recorded.

  • Establishing a Service

In establishing a service, the issues can be classified into three categories which encompass the phase in making a contract, the contents of the contract, as well as the connection proper. In making a contract, some of the complaints logged include an unsuitable product, inadequate documentation and credit assessment, as well as refused service. 

In terms of the content of the contract, some of the complaints logged include variation by different providers, requests to change account holders, as well as unfair contract terms. Meanwhile, during the connection proper, the complaints include a delay, a number problem, as well as an unauthorised transfer.

  • Service Delivery

When it comes to service delivery, the categories include no service, poor quality service, as well as equipment-related and special services-related complaints. Alongside no service comes disconnection in error as well as a network outage, while poor service quality includes dropouts, poor mobile coverage, noise or interference, as well as slow data speed and restricted service.

Some of the equipment-related complaints include unsuitable or faulty equipment, while special services-related complaints include priority assistance, disability equipment, as well as enhanced features.

  • Payment for a Service

Complaints related to payment for a service can be categorised into three classifications which include charges and fees, payments, as well as debt management. When it comes to charges and fees, the common complaints recorded include unclear or unreceived bills, as well as excess data, calls, SMS, or MMS. Missing payments, as well as unsuitable payment options, account for the payments category.    


Both providers and customers must work together to resolve any issues encountered when it comes to the internet and mobile services. The customers must ensure that they make a more informed decision by exploring their options before subscribing to a certain service. On the other hand, providers should ensure that they are taking the necessary measures to improve their service.

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