Phone carriers and resellers of phone services in Australia have come in for a “bagging” from Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy who earlier today said that it appears that consumers do not have confidence in their service providers.
Last week new Telstra CEO David Thodey admitted that his Company had serious service management problems and that one of his high priorities was to fix the Companies service problems over the next 12 months.
Currently Optus is being sued by several consumers and Queensland businesses because of poor service.
In an effort to resolve mounting complaints about mobile phone carriers the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman recently launched connect. Resolve after a rise in complaints during the past 12 months.
The TIO report said that complaints to the TIO rose by 1.8 per cent during the campaign period, compared with a 46 per cent rise in 2007-08.
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said that the increase in complaint statistics over the past 18 to 24 months suggests that consumers do not have confidence in their service providers.
At a minimum, it suggests the performance of telecom companies has not met consumer expectations. I remain concerned that the number of consumer complaints being registered is simply too high and industry is not doing enough.
He said that earlier this year he wrote to the Communications Alliance, the TIO, ACMA and other key industry members, setting out his expectations.
“I made it clear that industry should take immediate action to reduce the volume of complaints received by the TIO. I have actively supported the TIO’s Connect.Resolve campaign and received monthly reports throughout its duration.
The Ombudsman Deirdre O’Donnell said although the overall number of complaints stabilised during the campaign, further action was needed.
“The stabilisation shows that our collaborative approach with service providers has been effective, but they need to continue their efforts to prioritise customer service,” she said.
“The proportion of complaints about customer service-related matters has remained unacceptably high and, in the TIO’s view, the industry still has much work to do in this area.” She said.
The connect.resolve campaign was created to encourage the 10 largest telecommunications companies to refocus on their customers’ experiences and the need to improve their customer service practices.
Throughout the campaign, service providers received monthly data about their customers’ complaints to the TIO, as well as examples of consumer `voices’ so they could have a better understanding of which areas needed improvement, and further develop their customer service processes.