Telecommunications Consumer Complaints Continue to Fall

Sydney, 17 September 2014 – Further sharp falls in telecommunications consumer complaints – to a six year low – show that industry is delivering on its promise of a much improved experience for customers, Communications Alliance said today.

The TIO Complaints - the Year in Review 2013-14 report, released today, showed that complaints to the TIO have fallen by 29% during the past three years.

“This strong improvement flows from several factors including huge investment in new and better networks and the introduction of the revised and strengthened Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code in 2012 – but overwhelmingly it comes from a top-down commitment within our telecommunications companies to deliver world-class service to their customers,” Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said.

“Almost across the board we saw encouraging results in the past year – a 48 per cent fall in complaints about mobile service faults; mobile coverage issues down by 55 per cent; international roaming complaints down by 35% and sharp reductions in complaints about overall customer service and complaint handling.”

“Almost 90% of complaints are resolved by service providers without any TIO involvement and the highest category of TIO complaint investigation (known as a Level 4) has virtually disappeared, having dropped by 99.7 percent over the past four years.”

“The results are consistent with the Comms Alliance quarterly national polling which shows steady improvements in telco customer satisfaction during the past 18 months,” Mr Stanton said.

“Industry is not resting on its laurels – far from it – and is determined to drive complaint levels even lower again during the current year.”

He said the increase in complaints about excess data charges reported by the TIO needed further investigation.

“The TIO has not been able to give us much context around these complaints and the result seems surprising because consumers receive three usage notifications – at 50, 85 and 100 per cent of their data usage allowance – to give them a good opportunity to avoid incurring excess data charges. What’s more, many data plans these days include features to avoid high charges even if the allowance is exceeded, so we need to look more closely at what is driving these complaints, and will do so.”


Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see

Media information contact:

Kreab Gavin Anderson
Lucy Chamberlain 0402 106 613