Consumer complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) about the National Broadband Network (NBN) have risen by 204 percent year on year to 22,827 for the first half of the year.
Despite an increase in the number of NBN connections between 2016 and 2017, Ombudsman Jones affirms the volume of complaints is concerning.
The biggest gripe? Provider response, suggesting that ISPs are being a little coy when it comes to helping once they've got you on your contract but poor service quality sits in second place with nearly 40 percent of complaints showing the NBN itself still has a ways to go before it can claim it is delivering the internet that Australians are clamouring for.
Australian telecommunications industry body Communications Alliance said the statistics were "disappointing" and admits that the industry "has to do more to improve the customer experience".
"Of course, we are not satisfied with the high numbers of complaints that we are now seeing, and industry recognises that more needs to be done to improve the overall customer experience".
NBN added that the 22,827 complaints were also equivalent to just 0.67 percent of total services activated, with Whitcomb pointing towards its efforts to reduce congestion by implementing new wholesale pricing and pausing its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network. In the same period the year prior, only 7,512 complaints were made. "It is now time to look at the effectiveness of consumer protections across the board", he said.
The TIO is an industry-funded organisation that aims to help resolve disputes between consumers or small businesses and their phone and internet providers.
"The changes mean our data will more accurately reflect the description of complaints given by residential consumers and small businesses".
"If this trend continues, up to 52,200 additional Australian women will be self-employed by the end of the roll-out due to the "NBN effect".
"This six-month update reflects the changed recording of service types and issues".
"Trend analysis will build over time from the start of this reporting period".
Indeed, the ACMA is now consulting on a number of proposed industry standards, including the provision of information to consumers about retail services supplied over the NBN and the handling of complaints made by consumers to retail carriage service providers (CSPs).
"Complaints about services delivered over the National Broadband Network continued to increase compared to the same six month period in 2016", ombudsman Judi Jones said.
"This indicates the consumer experience is still not meeting expectations for all".
For the half-year, the TIO received a total of 84,914 complaints from Aussie households and businesses.
Other reasonably frequent issues were no service, problems with connections or changing provider, and poor service quality.
Mobile complaints from residential users came in at 29.4 percent, closely followed by internet complaints at 28 percent and landline netting 11.1 percent.