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Consumer satisfaction

Consumers who contacted the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in 2011-12 continued to express high levels of satisfaction with our service.

Every year we commission surveys to gauge how successfully we were able to meet the expectations of the consumers who contacted us. This was the first year we explored consumer satisfaction with our conciliation process.

We conducted two surveys, one in September and another in December 2011. Each had a sample of 200 consumers whose complaints had been resolved through referral and 100 consumers whose complaints had been resolved through conciliation. We asked consumers to rate their satisfaction with our handling of their complaint and their satisfaction with the outcome of their complaint.

The results of the two surveys were very positive, especially about the satisfaction with the TIO’s handling of their complaint:

Referral

September 2011

December 2011

Satisfied

Very or extremely satisfied

Satisfied

Very or extremely satisfied

Satisfaction with TIO’s handling of complaint

96%

77%

94%

83%

Satisfaction with outcome of complaint

85%

64%

74%

59%

View Satisfaction with referral of complaints

Of those consumers who expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of their complaint in the September survey, 15 per cent contacted us again. For those who were surveyed in December and were dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint, 22 per cent contacted us again.

The reasons behind the remaining dissatisfied consumers not contacting us again included fatigue in trying to have the complaint resolved, eventually coming to an agreement with the provider and a perceived lack of follow-up or encouragement on behalf of the TIO.

Conciliation

September 2011

December 2011

Satisfied

Very or extremely satisfied

Satisfied

Very or extremely satisfied

Satisfaction with TIO’s handling of complaint

93%

75%

97%

86%

Satisfaction with outcome of complaint

89%

70%

89%

72%

View Satisfaction with conciliation of complaints

Feedback about the TIO

The TIO has an avenue for consumers to make formal compliments or complaints about the services it offers.

In 2011-12, we received 138 compliments about the courtesy, professionalism and timeliness of individual TIO officers.

We received 68 formal complaints about our service. Of those, 17 were found to be substantiated.

Shane’s complaint

Shane's complaint

Shane contacted us after receiving a bill of almost $12,500 following an overseas trip.

As he had already had a high bill from roaming charges from a previous overseas trip, he tried to make sure it didn’t happen again. Before leaving, he contacted his provider to discuss suitable roaming plans. He said the provider suggested adding a roaming data pack to his mobile, which he agreed to do.

He was also told that while overseas, he could make unbilled calls to check his spending. After arriving overseas, Shane called his provider and was advised that it was unable to check the usage. He called again the following day and was transferred between multiple departments and no-one was able to assist him. He told us that after a number of calls, he still could not get a response.

Back home, after receiving the large bill, he raised the issue with his provider. He was told he was liable for the charges this time because the provider had already waived roaming charges the last time it had happened. It also said that it had no record of Shane’s calls from overseas; however Shane showed us call records listing that the calls had been made.

During the time the complaint was conciliated, the provider made several offers of resolution – it initially offered to reduce the charges by 75 per cent and later by 90 per cent. Shane did not accept either offer because he felt he had taken reasonable precautions to avoid the debt.

He also thought the offer was unacceptable because the data pack he had been offered was inadequate for the needs he had described to the provider.

Shane’s provider agreed to waive the full amount. Shane accepted the offer and the complaint was closed.

Shane’s complaint

Shane's complaint

Shane contacted us after receiving a bill of almost $12,500 following an overseas trip.

As he had already had a high bill from roaming charges from a previous overseas trip, he tried to make sure it didn’t happen again. Before leaving, he contacted his provider to discuss suitable roaming plans. He said the provider suggested adding a roaming data pack to his mobile, which he agreed to do.

He was also told that while overseas, he could make unbilled calls to check his spending. After arriving overseas, Shane called his provider and was advised that it was unable to check the usage. He called again the following day and was transferred between multiple departments and no-one was able to assist him. He told us that after a number of calls, he still could not get a response.

Back home, after receiving the large bill, he raised the issue with his provider. He was told he was liable for the charges this time because the provider had already waived roaming charges the last time it had happened. It also said that it had no record of Shane’s calls from overseas; however Shane showed us call records listing that the calls had been made.

During the time the complaint was conciliated, the provider made several offers of resolution – it initially offered to reduce the charges by 75 per cent and later by 90 per cent. Shane did not accept either offer because he felt he had taken reasonable precautions to avoid the debt.

He also thought the offer was unacceptable because the data pack he had been offered was inadequate for the needs he had described to the provider.

Shane’s provider agreed to waive the full amount. Shane accepted the offer and the complaint was closed.