There has been a 16 per cent decline in the rate of complaints made to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) during the second half of 2017 about retail services delivered over the NBN access network.

Of the 22,827 complaints to the TIO about retail services delivered over the NBN access network from July to December 2017, less than five per cent (1052) were sent to nbn as complaints to resolve.

This was in the midst of one of the biggest deployment years in the company’s history with nbn Co increasing the number of activated premises on the network in the six months to 31 December 2017 by 39 per cent (942,804 premises).

The total number of complaints made to the TIO about services delivered over the NBN equates to 0.67 per cent of total activated services on the NBN access network.

nbn Co Chief Customer Officer, Brad Whitcomb, said, “While the slowdown in the rate of complaints is encouraging, nbn acknowledges there is still more work to be done, particularly at this critical stage of the rollout as we balance prioritising customer experience without taking our foot off the construction pedal.

“We will continue to work with industry to improve those parts of the customer’s end-to-end experience within our control to reduce complaint volumes.

“The second half of 2017 represented one of the most significant periods of the rollout in terms of prioritising the customer experience. Alongside retailers, our delivery partners and the wider industry, we established a number of company initiatives to improve the broadband experience for end users.”

Mr Whitcomb said nbn has evolved its pricing model to help improve speeds on the network during peak hours.

“We also announced plans to pause sales on the HFC portion of the network while optimisation works were carried out. Retail access to HFC services will progressively be made available from late April.

“In addition, we have made significant improvements to our processes and systems to minimise complaints. As a result, our right-first-time metric for installation of nbn equipment has climbed overall in recent months, and we are now just below 90 per cent.

“All of this achieved at a time when, as at 31 December 2017, more than 95 per cent of Australian households and businesses were either in design, under construction or were able to order a service.

“We’re pleased to see these initiatives and industry collaboration having a positive impact on customer satisfaction as well as tempering the volume of complaints made to the TIO.”

The NBN network is now more than halfway built with around one in three Australian homes and businesses already connected.

nbn remains on track to complete the rollout of the network by the end of 2020. 

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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