Australians Raging Over Horrible Internet - Complaints Soar According to Telco Ombudsman

  • The report has revealed that there were a whopping 63,892 complaints made about home internet services, a 64.8% increase from the previous year.
  • Over 27,000 complaints were recorded about services delivered via the NBN
  • So, How Did The Individual Telcos Fare?

Is the slow, crawling speed of your internet connection absolutely driving you up the wall? Well, you may not be alone in this struggle. In fact, Australians have lodged a record number of complaints with regards to their home internet/broadband services in the past financial year. It can’t just be your imagination, then! Whist the recent headlines about how Kenya seems to have better internet connection than us Australians do may just be a little far fetched, it doesn’t take away from the fact that us Aussies continue to be disappointed with the speeds of our home broadband connections.

 

According to the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman’s latest report, complaints not only residential consumers but also small businesses and organisations with regards to mobile phones, landline phones and broadband internet services have all increased significantly in the past financial year. In fact, for the very first time, internet services have accounted for the highest source of complaints according to the TIO report which was released today. The report has revealed that there were a whopping 63,892 complaints made about home internet services, a 64.8% increase from the previous year.

 

Internet was not the only thing that got into hot water in the past year, as 52,300 complaints were made about mobile phone service, a 27.5% increase from last year, and 41,824 complaints made about landline phones, an increase of 30%. Ironically, in the very same report last year, complaints made about mobile services had actually hit an all time low in the past nine years. Talk about extremities!

 

As a larger number of us get connected to National Broadband Network (NBN), complaints from users have also increased significantly by 159.3% compared to the previous year. According to Ombudsman Judi Jones, the complaints are simply a sign of how frustrated us Australians are when we cannot rely on technology to stay connected, to be informed, and to carry out our  business duties. “Sharing high quality videos immediately, holding an online meeting or watching Netflix on the way home, is now the norm and part of our daily routine. For the first time, complaints about internet services are now higher than complaints about mobile phones,” she quoted.

 

The TIO started recording and reporting complaints about services delivered over the NBN over in 2013, and as the rollout continues to gather momento, it comes as no surprise to us that the number of complaints has indeed risen. The NBN has added over 1.4 million active connections in the period accounted for and has even moved past the milestone of 3 million active connections as of this week. However, complaints about services delivered over the NBN have more than doubled, and whilst this is to be expected given their accelerated rate of rollout, the increase is a cause for concern.

 

Over  27,000 complaints were recorded about services delivered via the NBN, an increase of 159.3% compared to the year before. 16,221 of those complaints were about faults in services delivered over the network. In layman terms, that is 6.7 fault complaints for every 1000 active connections. Similarly, 11,224 complaints were made about connection delays (8.3 connection delay complaints per 1000 connections).

 

The NBN has quoted that they acknowledge that the increase in complaints to the TIO about services delivered over the NBN in the 2016/17 financial year is regrettable and have also pointed out that the TIO report “does not distinguish between complaints that are the responsibility of NBN to resolve and those that are the responsibility of the retail service provider to resolve.”

 

Chief Network Engineering Officer of the NBN, Peter Ryan, has said the NBN is working hard to resolve these issues. In his blog post, he has expressed that “While we may now be powering along in terms of adding homes and businesses to the network, we are very conscious that we have work to do in making sure they have an outstanding experience once they’re on board,” “We all know how crucial the internet is to our lives these days so, when it is not performing well or drops out altogether — even only for a few minutes — it is incredibly frustrating for people and we completely understand that.”

 

The NBN says that it is driving more focus towards customers who  missed being connected by a technician in the field for some reason, and are also introducing new diagnostic tools to help providers such as Telstra and iiNet identify problems on the network, with their ultimate goal being to stop users from getting ‘ping-ponged’ between NBN and RSPs to solve a problem.

 

So, How Did The Individual Telcos Fare?

• Telstra received 76,650 complaints, a year-on-year increase of 43.5%

• Optus received 28,766 complaints, a year-on-year increase of 31.2%

• Vodafone received 10,684 complaints, year-on-year increase of 37.5%

• iiNet received 10,170 complaints, a year-on-year increase of 79%

• TPG received 6,995 complaints, year-on-year increase of 44.9%

 

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All in all, there is much to be done with regards to the internet services we are currently provided within Australia. The struggle to keep up with the rest of the world continues, but we do have hope that things will take a turn for the better in the near future. If you are someone who is currently experiencing frustratingly slow internet, call us for a chat today to see what you can do to improve your overall experience.