Billing complaints still number one

The recent ‘Telecommunications Performance Report 2000 – 2001’ put out by the Australian Communications Authority reports on a number of issues of interest to consumers including customer service, new industry developments, the internet, Mobile Number Portability and pre selection.

Findings on customer service found that the highest proportion of complaints heard or seen by the TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman) related to billing. However, the overall customer satisfaction level remains relatively high. While Telstra paid $13.2 million in compensation to customers for faults and tardy new connections, it was actually a reduction of 14 per cent from the previous year.

With Internet usage also increasing, about 50% of the population is now using the net and about a third of all households are connected.

Dr Bob Horton of the ACA commented that there has been an explosive growth in mobile text and data services, especially short messaging service (SMS) usage. Some telcos reported growth of more than 1,000 per cent in SMS over the period, with 30 per cent of all mobile phone users sending messages.

The Australian Financial Review, 14/2/02, p8.