Frustration over phone services

Caroline Springs residents are among Victoria’s most frustrated phone and internet users, according to a new report.

The recently released Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s annual report shows that 399 complaints about internet and phone services were made by Caroline Springs residents in 2016-17. Most of the complaints were about customer service, billing and payments, followed by faults.

Nationally, Campbelltown in New South Wales had the highest number of complaints (769), followed by Toowoomba in Queensland (768) and Hoppers Crossing (752).

The ombudsman’s office received more than 158,000 complaints in 2016-17 nationwide – an increase of 41 per cent from the previous 12 months.

In the report, Ombudsman Judi Jones states the survey results showed that people were “frustrated” by the internet and mobile phone networks.

“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,” Ms Jones said.

“Sharing high-quality videos immediately, holding an online meeting or watching Netflix on the way home is the norm and part of our daily routine.”

The report showed that complaints about the NBN were up 10,487 from the year before because of network growth.

“Complaints about services delivered over the national broadband network have more than doubled,” the report stated.

“This includes an increase in complaints about connection delays and reliability issues such as faults. The increase is somewhat to be expected given the accelerating rollout of the NBN, but is still a concerning trend.”

Meanwhile, Caroline Springs and Burnside will be among the first Australian suburbs to get NBN fibre-to-the-curb connections.

Rollout of the service is scheduled to begin in the first half of next year.