Telcos ghost 13,000 Aussies: What to do if you can’t get a response

Posted: 2 June 2021 4:11 pm

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:

10 issues in complaints

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.

1. Switch

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.

Think you can do better than your current provider? You can compare NBN plans or compare mobile plans from over 40 providers and find a better deal today.

Get the best deal on your Internet plan

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site