The TIO is Australia's busiest industry ombudsman scheme - in 2014-15, we received 124,417 new complaints. This large number of complaints indicates that telco providers still have room for improvement in their responsiveness to their customers' complaints. Despite the result, telcos have made a marked improvement, with 10.5 per cent fewer new complaints than in the previous financial year and 35.7 per cent fewer than in 2011-12. The number of new complaints at 124,417 is the lowest since 2007-08.
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Some factors driving the drop in new complaints include:
- The revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code 2012, which included a range of consumer protection measures for telcos such as clearer advertising, improved spending and data usage alerts and critical information summaries.
- Telcos have focused on improving customer service, designed new plans to better suit customer needs and invested in mobile infrastructure.
- Improved dialogue between the TIO and telcos during the consideration of complaints and systemic issues, and through provider forums and educational resources.
During the financial year, we saw a reduction in new and unresolved complaints and a change in issues that were the subject of new complaints received. There were fewer simple complaints such as those about coverage and billing, and an increase in more complex complaints such as those about connections and faults.
We responded to this decrease in demand for our services by reducing our workforce and restructuring some of our work groups.