Commander takes its turn as Australia’s most complained about telco


The Communications Alliance Complaints in Context report for April to June has a new king to crown in the form of Vocus-owned Commander.

The brand has been in the top three for the past year, and in the latest edition finally cracked the 20 complaints per 10,000 services in operation (SIO) barrier, which saw it surpass the reigning complaint champ Southern Phone on 19.8 complaints per 10,000 SIO, and the former title holder MyRepublic on 18.1 complaints per 10,000 SIO.

MyRepublic peaked between July and September 2019 when it recorded an eye-watering 29.3 complaints per 10,000 SIO.

Maintaining its fourth position, and the first of the major players, was iiNet on 11.1 complaints per 10,000 SIO, with stablemate TPG now sitting at 10.6 complaints per 10,000 SIO, and iPrimus on 9.5 complaints per 10,000 SIO.

The rest of the report remained relatively stable, with Telstra, Aussie Broadband, Optus, Dodo, Vodafone, and Amaysim making up the rest of the places.

The latest instalment of the report completes a full-year window since it moved from voluntary participation by Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Amaysim, and Pivotel to compulsorily covering the 10 telcos with the most complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), along with any other companies that volunteer to participate.

Overall complaints were up slightly from 7.1 complaints per 10,000 SIO at the last outing to 7.4 complaints per 10,000 SIO this time, which the Comms Alliance said was an extra complaint to the TIO for every 1,351 services.

“COVID-19 has created significant disruptions for telcos and their customers. While we regret any problems that consumers have encountered during this time, we are pleased that — despite the difficulties — we only saw a small increase in the overall complaint ratio for the most recent quarter,” Comms Alliance CEO John Stanton said.

“Many telcos have offered additional assistance to those impacted by the pandemic or who are having difficulties paying their bills, and financial hardship assistance is always available to any customer who needs it. We encourage you to check your provider’s website to see what is available.”

Next month, the National Broadband Network (NBN) will pull the free 40% capacity boost it has been offering to retailers since mid-March.

Also on Friday, New Zealand broadband wholesaler Chorus revealed its network had seen a new 3.15Tbps throughput peak thanks to a Fortnite update.

In Australia, NBN said it saw a record peak of 16.2Tbps on its network during the first week of August. Although NBN did not say what the peak was a result of, in the past it has said it was due to Call of Duty updates.

On Thursday, the Australian government added 17 companies to be statutory infrastructure providers (SIPs) to 325,000 premises in 1,592 areas around the country.

The new SIPs are: Advatel Wireless, CipherTel, CNTCorp, CommSol, Fibre Asset Management, Frontier Networks, Interphone, LBN Co, Lynham Networks, OMNIconnect, OPENetworks, OptiComm, PIPE Networks, Real World Networks, Reddenet, Telair Holdings, and TransACT.

The SIP obligations mandate that Australian premises be offered to connect to broadband that provides 25/5Mbps at a minimum, with NBN responsible for areas it has declared ready for service, and being the default provider in Australia.

The SIP forms part of the Universal Service Guarantee, which was created to replace the Universal Service Obligation (USO) on Telstra to provide voice services to all Australians.

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