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TIO has record complaints quarter

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The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has reported 59,532 new complaints between January and March 2011, an increase of more than 14,000 new complaints on the previous quarter.

The ongoing woes at Vodafone have emerged as the catalyst for the rise with 14,670 new complaints devoted to Vodafone services, an increase of 96% from the previous quarter.

“New complaints to the TIO point to a grim quarter for consumers,"' said Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Simon Cohen.

January was the hottest month for consumer rage against Vodafone with some decrease recorded in February and March. Overall mobile carrier complaints are emerging a consumer enemy number one with a 50% increase in mobile telephony complaints. Fault issues were up over 140% to 23,250. New complaints about wrong advice were up more than 125% to 10,974. Issues about broken agreements were up almost 40% to 6,607.

Despite Vodafone’s new disastrous network issues run, Telstra angst is still topping the charts in customer complaints with 22,505 reported in the quarter.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia CEO Nigel Dews addressed the company AGM this week stating that he was pleased with the TIO month on month results. “We’ve seen that trend falling and, in fact, April looks like we’re back to November levels (in regard to complaints]. What’s important is that it continues to fall and a big priority is making sure that was sorted and we’ve seen really good progress.”

He may not have factored the “Easter affect” on the April and May complaints figures, as Vodafone customers experienced a day of no SMS or data services on Easter Sunday.

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