Computer says no: Aussies make record number of internet complaints since 2013
- Aussies made 10,668 new complaints about internet services in first quarter of 2016
- One in every 1,209 internet users escalates complaints to the resolution service
- How to make sure you are getting value for money from your broadband plan
21 July, 2016, Sydney, Australia – More than 117 unresolved complaints about internet service are being referred every day to the dispute resolution service, analysis by Australia’s most visited comparison website1 finder.com.au reveals.
Over 10,5002 complaints that could not be settled between internet providers (with more than 25 new complaints) and their customers have been sent to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in the first three months of 2016 - a rate of 117 a day.
That’s a 27% increase in internet related complaints from service providers with more than 25 complaints in just 12 months.
Alex Kidman, Telco Expert at finder.com.au, says one in every 1,209 internet user in Australia had escalated complaints to the Ombudsman.
“That’s a huge proportion and this is just the tip of the iceberg - how many customers are suffering in silence?” says Mr Kidman.
It equates to more than half a million dollars a month worth of disgruntled customers.
“Considering the average broadband plan costs about $60 a month consumers are forking out $640,080 per month for internet that is on the blink,” he adds.
He says the impacts of slow or no internet were massive making it impossible for some to work from home, keep in touch with family or stream music and movies and use social media.
“These days broadband is as important as electricity – this is the age of the internet – so outages or slow internet can send some people into meltdown.”
“Many Australians rely on the internet and we’re extremely heavy users, so when it doesn’t work, it can be very stressful.”
Key complaints included slow data speeds, unusable service and connection delays.
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in April show there were approximately 12.9 million internet subscribers in Australia at the end of December 2015. Fixed line broadband connections across Australia recorded a massive 50.4% increase in downloads from 2014 to 2015.
Mr Kidman says consumers should expect the internet service they sign up to, to deliver.
“Review your contract and understand what you have paid for. If you are unhappy, change your provider and compare your options at finder.com.au/broadband-plans”.
Tips from finder.com.au: How to make sure you are getting value for money from your broadband plan
- Timing is everything
Most broadband plans are offered on a 24-month contract. This can make plans cheaper, but restricts your flexibility if you plan to move house or decide you're not happy with your current provider
- Do you have a need for speed?
Connection speed is likely to vary based on your location and the condition of cabling and wiring so investigate problems with both your internet and phone line provider
- Dear diary
Keep a record of the days your internet is unusable and request that your bills be reduced accordingly
- There’s always a safety net
If you have any problems negotiating with your internet provider, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
1 Average 1.7M visitors monthly, Experian Hitwise since 2015
2 10,668 new complaints in January-March 2016, for providers with more than 25 new complaints according to the TIO
For further information
The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.
finder.com.au is Australia's most visited comparison website and has helped over 4.8 million Australians find better credit cards, home loans, life insurance, shopping deals and more since 2006. finder.com.au compares 250 credit and debit cards from 31 providers, over 300 home loan products, and information from 13 life insurance providers as well as online shopping promo codes, mobile phone plans, travel insurance and more. One Australian every five minutes is using finder.com.au to find better (Source: Google Analytics).