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Media Release: New telco complaints reporting to drive improvements

The Morrison Government welcomes the release of a new report today on the handling of customer complaints by telco companies to increase transparency and help drive improvements in complaints handling across the sector.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority's (ACMA) Telecommunications Complaints Handling report follows new requirements put in place by the Government and the ACMA last year and captures all complaints to telcos between July and December 2018.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the new reporting is part of the Government's comprehensive response to high consumer complaint levels in the telecommunications sector and the challenges faced by consumers moving from legacy to NBN services.

“The telecommunications sector is undergoing rapid change – more than 600,000 premises were activated on the NBN during the reporting period,” said Minister Fletcher.

“Telco customers deserve to have their complaints dealt with quickly. This report builds a clearer picture of complaints across the industry and provides a baseline for future trends. This will help Australia's telcos to further focus on improving the customer experience.”

Key findings in the ACMA's first report include that:

  • Complaints across all services were up 10.2% per services in operation in December 2018 compared to the previous quarter.
  • The relative number of complaints about fixed broadband over the NBN were 40 per cent lower than for non-NBN networks. 
  • The median time to resolve complaints was 6 days, with a range of 1 to 13 days across reporting providers.
  • Mobile services had the lowest number of complaints but increased by 13.7% during this period.

Last year the Government also introduced the Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints Handling) Industry Standard 2018, which specifies how complaints should be managed and resolved by retailers. 

The report will be published quarterly, requiring providers with 30,000 or more services to collect and report information on complaints they receive and how they are handled. The report is available at www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/telecommunications-complaints-handling