The TIO can look into complaints about services delivered by retail service providers over the National Broadband Network (NBN), or about nbn, the wholesaler of services.
NBN-related complaints include:
- cases registered to retailers where the consumer tells us the complaint is about a service delivered over the NBN, and
- cases registered to the wholesaler, nbn.
While a complaint is tagged as "NBN-related" and arises from services provided over the network, it may not have been caused by the wholesaler or the network.
According to nbn, the network rollout sped up considerably in 2014-15 with the number of connected premises increasing by 130.6 per cent to almost half a million activated premises at 30 June 2015.
We recorded 2,089 enquiries about NBN-related matters. About one in every five of these enquires (417) were from consumers seeking advice on how and where to make a complaint about an issue they were experiencing.
We received 6,715 NBN-related new complaints in 2014-15, 68.6 per cent more than last financial year.
Of all NBN-related new complaints, 95.4 per cent were about 90 different retail service providers. The remaining 4.6 per cent were about the network wholesaler, nbn.
We opened 871 NBN-related conciliations, an increase of 8.8 per cent. We also opened 15 NBN-related investigations, an 84.7 per cent decrease compared to last financial year.
What complaints were about
The majority of consumer complaints about NBN-related services had one of two themes:
1. Communication breakdown
Often consumers said that the provider did not inform them about a cancelled appointment, while the provider said it did not receive enough notice from nbn about the cancellation.
2. Impediments to the service connection
An example of this situation is when a consumer checks online that the NBN was available at their address, but when a technician comes out to connect a service, they discover that other work was needed, such as replacing old conduit between the street and the consumer’s home before the connection can occur.
In these cases it was common for consumers to tell us they were uncertain about who should respond to their complaint, and that they had contacted both nbn and their provider.
The main issues that consumers reported to us were:
|Number 2014-15||% change|
|Number 2014-15||% change|
|New connection delay||1,360||73.7|| 1,547||37.9|
|Fully unusable service||595||39.8||525||61.5 |
|Missed connection appointment||384||39.6||379||38.8|
NBN-related complaints as a proportion of all TIO complaints
NBN-related new complaints represented:
- 5.4 per cent of all new complaints
- 7.9 per cent of all conciliations, and
- 13.5 per cent of all investigations.
NBN-related issues as a proportion of all issues
Our approach to complaints
We have continued to refine our process for dealing with NBN-related complaints in 2015, including providing more information to retailers about:
- when we have recorded a complaint made by one of their customers directly to nbn, and
- the appropriate channels at nbn for the retailer to contact if it needs to involve nbn to resolve a complaint.