Australia’s telecoms operators received slightly more complaints in the year to end-June, but the number per 10,000 services provided remained the same at 58, with the time to resolve an issue dropping 30 per cent.

Data from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) showed consumers filed nearly 1.04 million complaints, up 2.3 per cent year-on-year. The percentage matched the rise in services provided, which reached 45.3 million.

ACMA found a complaint took an average of 5.2 days to resolve compared with 7.4 days a year earlier.

The number of complaints escalated to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) fell 18 per cent to around 64,000.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin stated “the downward trend is encouraging, but some telcos were still averaging more than eight days to resolve complaints, which is not good enough”.

“While there are some positive improvements in the figures, a million complaints is still far too many and a strong indicator that Australian consumers expect more of their telco providers.”

ACMA did not report complaint numbers by individual providers.

Complaints from consumers and small business about phone and internet services forwarded to the TIO dropped 16.5 per cent to 66,388.

Issues regarding mobile services accounted for 48 per cent of the total, the highest proportion in six years, which the ombudsman suggested was related to an Optus data breach in September 2022.

Optus complaints rose 29.5 per cent, with increases also reported against Vodafone Australia and Southern Phone.

Telstra complaints dropped nearly 36 per cent.  

Complaints from small businesses declined 25 per cent to about 8,300.