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Australia: Mobiles Fuelling User Frustration - Report
Source: abc.net.au
Source Date: Monday, October 29, 2012
Country: Australia
Created: Nov 01, 2012

Mobile phones have emerged as the biggest frustration for telco customers, making up two-thirds of complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

Over the past financial year complaints fell overall by 2 per cent to just under 194,000, but mobile phone complaints shot up 9 per cent to more than 120,000.

Ombudsman Simon Cohen says telcos have been trying to improve their customer service and the spike in mobile issues reflects the popularity of smart phones.

He says common issues are poor coverage and billing disputes, but he cites a rise in complaints about credit default listings as a serious concern.

"They can be quite simple issues around a disputed charge or bill or the failure to offer a payment plan for a debt that isn't disputed but can't be afforded straight away," he said.

"And then the consumer has difficulty reaching the right department or the right people within the telco to raise and solve that problem.

"They can affect their eligibility for home loans, they can affect their eligibility for personal loans and we find when looking in those matters in detail is the amounts of the default listings can often be very small."

It is the first report that has collected state-by-state information and Mr Cohen says the most complaints come from the eastern states.

"What it shows is that while most complaints come from New South Wales, Victorian consumers are the most likely to complain and Melbourne CBD has the highest complaints per 1,000 residents, at 24.4 complaints per 1,000 residents," he said.
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