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Which mobile network gets the most complaints?


Telstra, Optus or Vodafone? The answer might surprise you.

New data from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) shows that we made 31,649 complaints about mobile phone services in the 2022-2023 financial year.

But which provider did we complain about the most? Was it Telstra, Optus, Vodafone or one of the smaller MVNO providers?

Here are the 10 most-complained about providers, according to the TIO annual report. Collectively, they account for over 90% of all issues lodged with the TIO.

Provider2021-222022-23% of total% change
Southern Phone8281,0441.60%26.10%
Aussie Broadband1,1338901.30%-21.40%
Dodo Services1,1275770.90%-48.80%

An important point: this list ranks absolute numbers of complaints. So it's no surprise to see Telstra at the top of the list, because it's the biggest provider. The number of complaints about Telstra actually dropped 35.7% from the previous year.

Telcos don't routinely supply detailed customer numbers for mobile users, so it's tricky to accurately rank the number of complaints as a percentage of the total customer base for each provider.

However, we can see an interesting trend if we look at which mobile providers we're using. We track this in our monthly Finder Consumer Sentiment Tracker (CST) survey. Here's what it shows for the Big 3 (other providers aren't tracked individually).

Provider% of complaints% market share

The provider figures from the TIO are for all complaints, but mobile services are the most common source of complaints (48%), so the broad trend is still indicative. Every provider on the top 10 list offers both mobile phone services and broadband, other than ALDImobile which is phones only.

On this ranking, Vodafone is getting fewer complaints than you'd expect for its market share, while Telstra and Optus are getting slightly more. For Optus, that would in part be explained by its 2022 data breach leading to a significant rise in complaints, with a 29.5% year-on-year rise.

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