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NBN the key driver of consumer telco dissatisfaction: ACCC

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Consumer complaints about telecommunications services jumped by 58 percent to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) during 2016-17, the watchdog has revealed.

During the year, it received 4,384 consumer complaints and enquiries, with the ACCC saying National Broadband Network (NBN) services "are emerging as key contributors to consumer dissatisfaction in the communications sector".

According to the Competition and price changes in telecommunications services in Australia 2016-17 [PDF][1], published on Wednesday, the most common complaint was about misleading or deceptive conduct, with 1,831 complaints during the year -- more than double the previous year.

Complaints regarding NBN services rose "significantly" during the year, the ACCC said, as did customer complaints across all major fixed and mobile service providers.

"Issues regarding the migration and connection process as well as the quality and the performance of services over the NBN not meeting expectations are likely to be significant sources of these complaints," the ACCC said.

It has since forced retail service providers (RSPs) Telstra[2], Optus[3], TPG[4], iiNet, and Internode[5] to refund tens of thousands of their NBN customers for misleading or deceptive conduct over not providing them with the speeds they were paying for.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims last month said the consumer watchdog had labelled broadband consumer issues as a major focus for 2018, warning NBN providers that it would continue stepping in[6] when they do not provide the speeds consumers are paying for.

"Consumer issues in the provision of broadband services, including addressing misleading speed claims and statements made during the transition to the NBN, have become one of the ACCC's most prominent issues in the past two

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