The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s 2016/17 Annual Report has found that services delivered over the NBN more than doubled since the last report.

As the NBN rollout widens, complaints about landline phones and internet services delivered over the network have grown. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) started recording and reporting complaints about services delivered over the NBN from financial year 2013/14.

Key highlights include:

  • 27,195 complaints were recorded about services delivered over the NBN year on year increase of 159.3 per cent
  • 16,221 complaints were recorded about faults in services delivered over the NBN. This is 6.7 fault complaints per 1,000 premises activated
  • 11,224 complaints were recorded about connection delays to services delivered over the NBN. This is 8.3 connection delay complaints per 1,000 premises activated
  • Delays to connections are the main cause for complaints, followed by internet and landline faults for services delivered over the NBN

nbn has acknowledged the increase in complaints to the TIO, saying it demonstrates the necessity and importance of an industry-wide effort to ensure improved customer experiences as it reaches the peak years of the build.

Chief Executive Officer at nbn, Bill Morrow, said, “While it is fewer than 15 per cent of the nbn complaints to the TIO that are directed to NBN Co, this equates to about one per cent of the number of activated premises that we are not making the experience the best it can be and we are taking this very seriously.

“We are working with retail service providers and industry as a priority to improve these figures and the overall experience for consumers. We meet regularly and have programs in place, some in isolation to deal with company-specific improvements, and others in collaboration to ensure end-to-end process are the best they can be.

“This work is being reflected in a 13.6 per cent decline in overall TIO complaints between July to September 2017, and a 26.3 per cent decline in TIO complaints about landline and internet services over the same period. We believe it is an early sign of movement in the right direction.”

Some of the initiatives nbn has underway to improve the end user customer experience from its end include:

  • Improved installation experience: accelerated in-house training facilities to provide hands-on experience for field workers with the aim of increasing quality assurance with the installation of the network to homes and businesses
  • Advanced fault detection: leveraging big data, machine learning and existing capabilities to help nbn determine whether a fault can be dealt with remotely and immediately or whether a field technician needs to visit an end user home to resolve it
  • Enhanced case management with retail service providers: improved process for managing the timeliness of end user customer responses and resolution activities following escalations by retail service providers, as well as ensuring end user issues are case managed by nbn if they are not resolved on the second visit
  • National awareness campaign: educating Australians about the role of nbn and their retail service provider, the factors at home or work which can improve internet experience, as well as how to choose a speed and data broadband package that suits their needs

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