'Record telco complaints alarming'
POOR mobile phone coverage and service drop-outs are behind a record number of complaints to the telecommunications ombudsman in the past year.
The costs associated with smartphones and billing disputes were also prominent grievances among the 197,682 new complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) in 2010-11 - an increase of 18 per cent on the previous year.
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) said the telco industry had scored another "F" this year for customer service and complaints handling.
Ombudsman Simon Cohen said more than half the new complaints were about mobile phone services, up 51 per cent from the previous year.
"Of these, more than 32,000 were about Vodafone, almost tripling the number of its new mobile phone complaints when compared to the previous year," Mr Cohen said, adding that Vodafone complaints had been decreasing since February this year.