Telcos ghost 13,000 Aussies: What to do if you can’t get a response
Don't wait around for telcos to get back to you. There are alternatives out there to keep you happy.
Australians are still struggling to get their telecommunications provider to solve their problems, according to the latest Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) report.
While overall complaints have dropped by 6% since this time last year, there were still 13,000 Australians reporting "no or delayed action" by their provider between January and March 2021. This means the telco either didn't really try to fix the issue or took forever to do so (according to the customer).
And it seems like companies are getting worse at fixing things, even as total complaints drop. Telecommunications Ombudsman Judi Jones stated that the "increase in complaints coming back [to the TIO] unresolved is concerning", with nearly 24% of all complaints unresolved.
Here are the main complaints as recorded by the TIO:
Source: TIO (June 2021)
So what can you do if you're unhappy with your telco?
Being left without a response is frustrating, but there are a few things you can do to get a better outcome.
The easy answer is to switch to a new one, but this isn't always helpful.
Some issues leading to complaints aren't always the fault of the provider. For example, TPG had 5,500 customers with delayed connections or fault appointments in May thanks to changes in the way NBN Co schedules service appointments.
2. Be persistent
Being ignored by your telco is unpleasant. If you feel like you're being avoided, it's worth being persistent. Sometimes continuing to press the issue can get you better results, but your mileage may vary.
If you're still unhappy, you can refer your complaint to the TIO itself. It'll review the matter and take further action if necessary.
3. Try something else
The only sure-fire way to avoid the problems and delays currently plaguing the NBN is to switch to a different Internet service. Consider looking into a home wireless service or have a go at gaining access to Starlink, a non-NBN satellite service that's in a trial phase in Australia.
It's not all bad news
There is one positive among all the complaints and problems. NBN Co has finally resumed taking new orders for HFC connections since 24 May, after a global shortage of equipment forced a pause on all but the most critical orders.
If your property has HFC and you want to get connected, you should be able to apply through your Internet provider.