TIO complaints on NBN are reportedly growing at a great rate so should you be scared to venture over to the Dark side?
TIO COMPLAINTS ON NBN
In a recent report, it was stated that;
“The TIO received almost 66,000 complaints from Australian consumers and businesses unable to resolve problems with service providers between July and December 2016, up from just 49,000 complaints during the same period in 2015.( link)
Now that’s a lot of complaints or issues that have not been resolved to the satisfaction of the customer.
It should be remembered that the growth of the NBN far outstripped the rate of increase of the complaints so the real figures are distorted. The headline should perhaps be “Complains Go down on NBN”
It matters not, 66.000 is still a lot of complaints but let’s look further.
Of all the complaints 86.7% were from residential customers and only 13% from business entities.
So mums and dads were kicking up a storm because their life had changed, holy moly we are in trouble.
Let’s look at the type of complaints and what took the top spot?
I am absolutely blown away with the top two results, although perhaps having had to deal in this area maybe I should have guessed the answer being so obvious and I am so annoyed that our industry can put up with this.
What did we complain about?
CUSTOMER SERVICE was the number one complaint, can you believe it, the easiest thing to get right and we blew it by a long way.
How much of this can be attributed to overseas call centres and difficulties on understanding problems?
Billing was the next issue, how hard can it be, yes you can make mistakes or errors but they are fixed well before you need to make a complaint to the TIO.
Next came Faults and complaint handling which should be fixed early. Yes, there will be faults, that is nothing new but how the industry handle them is another thing.
So Customer service and fault handling were a majority percentage of the problem, maybe we need some communications lessons to bring this down.
What did the authorities have to say?
NBN chief customer officer John Simon said: “the percentage of NBN customers complaining about services had dropped compared to the first half of last year, but there was still room to improve.”
Even the industry ombudsman said:
” Ms Jones said the number of households connected to the NBN had also doubled in that time and complaints were no longer growing at the same rate.”
“The complaints about (NBN) services are not keeping pace with the rate of connections, so that’s a good sign,” she said.
So that’s the good news, they are getting better and would need to be with over 30,000 new connections every week.
Of the 66,000 odd complaints, we need to back out 23,000 mobile complaints leaving about 32.000 between the internet and fixed lines. A figure still too high. ( 24,000 internet and 18,000 fixed lines)
What are the big issues?
One of the big issues with TIO complaints on NBN is speed and not getting what you pay for because of location or other factors.
We have lived with a speed issue for many years on the Internet so this is not new. The difference is you can now do something about it.
With ADSL 2 as an example what you received was the best effort and I for one could never achieve over about 8 MB download of a promised 12 MB. I had no options, now with the NBN, you can go up or down to suit your need or your price.
The headline I believe was sensational, designed to show or alarm the consumers about the new system, one that we have to live with.
I believe another contributing factor is that consumers are led to the TIO far too early in the conversation. If you have a problem you are urged to ring the ombudsman and let them sort it out when some meaningful dialogue with your carrier can fix the issue.
In conclusion, we must remember we are all going to the NBN so get over it. It may not be the best system, in fact, a watered-down version of the original plan at that but it is all we have got.
For those that are interested, I did provide an extensive report available at www.fig-solutions.net
1800 116 116 TIO complaints on NBN
all figures extracted from TIO here