GRIPES with the National Broadband Network are driving a surge in complaints made to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
As the NBN roll-out gains pace across the country, complaints shot up a whopping 160 per cent in 2016-17 compared the to the previous financial year, with the industry watchdog recording 27,195 complaints.
Residents and small businesses made complaints 158,000 in total (up 41pc). Residents made the bulk of complaints (88pc) compared to small business (12pc).
For the first time, complaints over internet services outweighed mobile phones.
While the Ombudsman received at 63,892 notifications over internet services (up 65pc), there were 52,300 complaints about mobile phones (up 28pc) and 41,824 about landlines (up 30pc) rose steadily as well.
“Residential consumers and small businesses still have too many complaints about their customer service, a bill or faults,” said Ombudsman Judi Jones.
“The picture the complaints show is we are frustrated when we cannot rely on technology to stay connected, to be informed, and to do business.”
The top 10 service phone and internet providers accounted for 91pc of complaints in 2016-17.
State by state
South Australia recorded the highest growth in complaints at more than 12,526 (up 51pc). Western Australia came in next with 13,623 complaints (up 49pc).
NSW made the most complaints overall with 50,537 (up 43.6pc) followed by Victoria with 43,565 complaints (up 41pc), then Queensland with 28,988 complaints up 43pc).
The Northern Territory recorded 1043 complaints (up 30pc) and Tasmania made 2964 (up 38pc).