Proving a funny ad and good brand name isn’t everything, Optus has now become the most complained-about phone and internet provider per customer in Australia, overtaking Vodafone in an industry survey.
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman released its contextual complaint figures as a way of gauging the service levels of both big and small players and keeping things open and fair.
The average number of complaints per 10,000 services across the industry are at their lowest level in 18 months, falling from 7.6 in April-June 2014 to 6.5 in the latest figures from April-June 2015.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia racked up the most new complaints per 10,000 customers for the past five quarters, and while it’s yet to fulfil its promise of becoming the Aussie favourite telco by the time 2015 wraps up, it is the most improved by a long stretch, with complaints falling from 14.3 to 6.3 in the recent survey.
Optus, on the other hand, experienced a spike from 5.2 to 8.5. Telstra manage to bring its number down, from 7.2 to six, although interestingly it added an extra 850,000 customers over the period of the survey.
Optus blamed poor weather, network issues and a big increase in data usage over its 4G mobile network as the main reasons for the increase over 2015, according to a response from the industry body Communications Alliance.
“Optus reports that these initiatives have been well received by customers and that complaints decreased in the July-September 2015 quarter,” it said.
No longer the black sheep of the telco industry, Vodafone’s latest results in comparison to its competitors puts it on the right track to to fulfil its promise and knock Telstra and Optus off their pedestals, potentially by the close of the year.
Per Fairfax, its director of customer service, Errol van Graan, vowed to slash its complaints per 10,000 customers to 5.25 by the end of 2015.
“It’s very pleasing to see our customers are even happier with their Vodafone experience, with the ratio of complaints in the April quarter less than one third of that just 18 months before,” a company spokeswoman said. “Our aim is to be best-in-business, and while we will continue working hard to achieve that, it’s encouraging that our ratio is now below the industry average.”