NBN Complaints Soar 200%, Govt Review Triggered

NBN internet spped

NBN Co says orders for higher NBN speed plans rose from 16 per cent in December to 37 per cent

It came as the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman revealed it received 84,914 complaints in the last six months of 2017, a 28.7 percent increase on the same period in 2016.

Between July 1st and December 31st 2017, the TIO received a notable 22,827 NBN-related complaints, with 14,055 concerning service quality, and 8,757 surrounding connection delays.

NBN Co chief customer officer, Brad Whitcomb, said the total number of complaints to the TIO about the service equated to 0.67% of total connections, with the number of activated premises on the network over that six month period up 39% to 942,804 premises.

Advice to Government from NBN Co is that of the 22,827 (July - Dec 2017) complaints about services delivered over the NBN, less than 5 percent (1,052 complaints) were sent to NBN Co as complaints to resolve.

To put that in perspective, however, there were 3.4 million people with services on the NBN in the time period, and close to one million were signed onto the service in the six months.

74,729 of the 2H17 complaints concerned residential services, and 9,947 were from small businesses.

He warned against "collective punishment through sweeping rule and regulation changes", arguing that it "is not the answer now" and that "it has never worked in other industries".

"The review is overdue, and industry is keen to engage closely with relevant stakeholders on all parts of the review to produce an efficient and fit-for-purpose framework for consumer safeguards - including through the use of updated Industry Codes", Communications Alliance director program management, Christiane Gillespie-Jones, said. Obviously, the huge influx of new connections and NBN users is going to see the issues with the service rise by pure weight of numbers, especially if that service is constantly being taken out by a auto.

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"While the slowdown in the rate of complaints is encouraging, NBN Co acknowledges there is still more work to be done, particularly at this critical stage of the rollout as we balance prioritising customer experience without taking our foot off the construction pedal", he said.

According to Jones, the TIO has also changed its service type categorisation for each complaint, with five categories: Mobile phone, internet, landline phone, multiple services, and damage or access to property.

State by state, New South Wales residents complained the most, with 26,914 complaints made to the TIO during the half year, a year-on-year rise of 27.9 percent.

"What the Minister meant to say was the Turnbull Government has not been working", Rowald said in response.

As previously reported, NBN-related complaints have slowed since the beginning of 2018.

It's pretty easy to take a swipe at the NBN, of course, but during the same period previous year, general internet services were the most complained about issue for consumers.

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