Australia’s Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), has today released a statement advising that overall, complaints about Australian mobile operators are at their lowest rate in 18 months.
The release lists data over the last 18-months relating to complaints lodged with the TIO for carriers Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, Amaysim and Pivotel. The report states that overall the complaints stand at 6.5 complaints per 10,000 services in Operation a decrease of 9.7% when compared to January-March 2015 (7.2) and 14.5% when compared to April to June 2014 (7.6).
When looking at individual results, of the three major Australian mobile operators, it appears that Vodafone is seeing some of their best results in a long time with a continual decline in complaints over the preceding six quarters dropping to only 6.3 complaints per 10,000 services in operation. Vodafone’s continued decline in complaints reflects the continued improvements they’ve made across both their 3G and 4G/LTE networks Australia wide. Vodafone is understandably happy with the result with Director of Customer Service for Vodafone Australia, Errol Van Graan saying in a statement:
It’s very pleasing to see our customers are even happier with their Vodafone experience, with the ratio of complaints in the April quarter less than one third of that just 18 months before.
Our aim is to be best-in-business, and while we will continue working hard to achieve that, it’s encouraging that our ratio is now below the industry average.
We attribute this result to our continued investment in our strong network and customer service operations, our award-winning bill shock initiatives and more simplified products.
Still leading the way with the lowest amount of complaints of the three largest telco’s is Telstra with just 6 complaints per 10,000. Telstra has addressed the report on their exchange blog, stating that the report is proof that Telstra is listening to their customers.
Telstra Retail, Customer Relations Director Steve Bannigan went on to say that despite increasing the amount of services they provide they have still managed to reduce the amount of complaints to just six per 10,000 services – but ‘It’s still six complaints too many’. Telstra is continuing to improve their resolutions at first point of contact, and weeding out the root causes of complaints to head them off at the pass.
Optus unfortunately has seen increases over the preceding four quarters, with complaints now up to 8.5 per 10,000 services. Optus has said that this increase is caused by a significant rise in mobile data usage as a result of increased use of their 4G network, as well as enhanced smart phone capability and video services. Optus will be addressing these issues by providing usage alerts including making them more timely and reducing wait times to receive them as well as providing new tools and training for staff to help deal with customer queries relating to data usage, allowing them to resolve issues on their first call.
Smaller operators Amaysim and Pivotel had minimal complaints for their services with both showing just 1.8 complaints for 10,000 services.
The signs are great for Vodafone, with the statistics showing continued improvements in their customers perceptions of their network – and we’re seeing that feedback too. Telstra is also enjoying a continued focus on customer service, with their campaign to personalise service by offering the name of the person attending to your inquiries. Optus has a ways to go, but is aware of their issues and are working towards better results.
All up though, a downward trend in complaints to the TIO shows a healthy improvement in the mobile communications industry in Australia. We’re not there yet, but the signs are good that customer service means something and we as customers can reap the benefits.