Consumer complaints were down year-on-year, however up on the previous quarter, with internet complaints rising in the January-March 2016 quarter, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has advised.The TIO has reported that 31,297 new complaints were made in the quarter, down 5.6 per cent year-on-year, while up 32.8 per cent from the previous quarter, noting that the increase is both seasonal and due to more consumer complaints related to internet services.

“January-March is traditionally the TIO’s busiest quarter, but we are experiencing a sharper than usual increase this year,” TIO ombudsman Judi Jones commented. “Overall, complaints are continuing to trend down.”

The TIO received 10,985 new complaints about internet services in the quarter, with the proportion of internet complaints growing from 26 per cent to 35 per cent year-on-year.

There were 2,159 issues of slow data speeds, 2,125 issues of unusable services and 2,079 issues of connection delays, the TIO advised.

“These three issues were the top reason that brought internet users to the TIO in January-March 2016,” Jones commented.

“Consumers told us about internet services that performed at much lower speeds than they were promised, and long waits for connections and repairing unreliable services.”

The TIO received 9,248 landline complaints, the proportion of which grew from 28 per cent to 30 per cent year-on-year, with consumers reporting 1,725 issues of unusable landlines and 1,605 issues of new landline connection delay.

Mobile services complaints totalled 11,064, with the proportion of complaints decreasing from 46 per cent to 35 per cent year-on-year.

The TIO noted that the ratio of mobile services complaints over the past four years has decreased 48 per cent, while services in operation in Australia have increased 8.5 per cent in that time.

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