Telco ombudsman fields 60,000 complaints

Complaints about landline, mobile phone and Internet services have increased by almost 8 percent in the last financial year.

According to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman's annual report, which was released today, a whopping 59,850 complaints have been lodged.

Not surprisingly, the biggest area for complaint was disputes about billing.

Ombudsman John Pinnock said the bulk of the complaints centred on billing, mobile phone contracts and credit management.

He said one factor behind the rise in complaints was increased competition in the telecommunications industry over the past 12 months.

Generally, Pinnock said, complaints reflect industry trends with a move away from landlines toward mobile phone usage and the Internet.

Established in 1993, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is a free and independent dispute resolution service.

It is largely geared toward residential and small business consumers who have been unable to resolve a complaint with their Internet service provider or telco.

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