Complaints against Vodafone have risen 96% according to a new Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman report. This is the biggest increase ever says the TIO.
Later today Vodafone will hold their Annual General Meeting in North Sydney with their marketing team now facing the tough task of having to turn the now branded “Vodafail” around.
In total, 59,532 new complaints were made to the ombudsman in the first quarter of this year. The increase of 31 per cent on the previous quarter is biggest increase in complaints ever recorded against a carrier in Australia. Ombudsman Simon Cohen said the TIO had “never received so many complaints”.
Between January and March 14,670 new complaints were logged with the TIO, an increase of 96 per cent from the previous quarter.
The report claims that the main reason for the continuing increase has been complaints about Vodafone, and its well publicised failures of their mobile coverage and customer service issues.
“We received increased complaints about landlines, internet services and a 50 per cent increase in mobile telephone complaints. Additionally, most categories of complaint – including billing, faults, contracts and credit management increased” said the TIO Ombudsman.
Cohen cited credit management issues as a “key problem area” for the telecommunications industry, after the busiest quarter for new TIO complaints on record.
“Credit management issues are often a result of consumers who don’t understand the service they have contracted for, or the charges they will incur,” the TIO said in a statement alongside Cohen’s comments. “These consumers receive bills that are too expensive to afford. As a result, their services may be disconnected or suspended, and their details lodged with a credit reporting agency.”
Cohen said telephone and internet companies needed to “do more to make sure consumers are given the right information up front, and provided the right tools to monitor their usage and charges”.