Telecom industry complaints rocket

It's not just the energy industry that causes Australians to complain - today it's the turn of the telecoms industry to really rile the Australian consumer.  The Telecommunications Indusrty Ombudman Annual report published today paints a dire picture for the Australian consumer.

Complaints have shot up 54% to over 230,000 - that represents a growth of 80,000 actual complaints in just 12 months.  The areas of most concern were disputed charges across mobile phones, landlines and broadband, and the overall level of service across these products.

Residential consumers contributed around 91% of all complaints, whilst small businesses made up most of the remainder, issuing just under 20,000 individual complaints.

Make It Cheaper says: "It's a drain enough for a small business to have to pay their phone and broadband bills in a tough financial year, let alone having to complain about them being incorrect."

"Adding up the amount of time small businesses have spent on the phone to the various telecoms suppliers, it could for some become a part-time job.  In fact, we estimate that in the past 12 months, over 5 years of working time could have been wasted by Small Business owners complaining to the countries big telecoms suppliers.  If true, that would be shockingly wasteful."

Telstra and Bigpond top the table of the highest complained about telco's.  This comes as no real surprise as they hold in many cases, the dominant market share.  It will be interesting to see if the ombudsman looks to see how each company's complaint level fairs as a proportion to the total number of customers they have - then we will really see a league table of poor performers.

One of the things that this report does reveal is the sheer amount of choice that small businesses and consumers have in selecting a new mobile, landline or broadband supplier.  It's up to the customer now to find a better deal.