Smartphone complaints spike in Australia
29 October 2012, 10:00
Sydney - Complaints about mobile phones to Australia's telecoms watchdog
jumped 9% in a year, accounting for two-thirds of all gripes received
due to growing smartphone use, a study said on Monday.
Industry Ombudsman Simon Cohen said there were 122 834 mobile phone
complaints in the year to June 30 - an increase of 9% on the previous
year - despite overall grievances dropping 2%.
Two out of three complaints related to mobile phones, reflecting what Cohen said was the "rising use of smartphones".
89% of Australians were estimated to own a mobile phone in 2011 -
rising to 97% - 98% in the 18 - 44 age bracket - with the market
dominated by internet-enabled handsets made popular by Apple and
Only Japan and South Korea are believed to have a
greater level of 3G handset penetration, according to the government's
Australian Communications and Media Authority.
over-charging and other bill disputes were the most common issues, with
complaints about internet usage charges rocketing 150%.
said the number of complaints over credit blacklisting due to unresolved
telecoms debts had also increased, which he described as concerning.
listings can have very significant impacts on people, affecting
applications for credit, including for housing and personal loans," the
He also called for an improved system of
notifying consumers when they are approaching a data or call limit,
which will be required under a new telecoms consumer protection code to
come into effect from 2013.
"Complaints about unexpectedly high
bills and unnecessary financial over-commitment point to the urgent need
for strong spend management rules, including those that are included in
the new code," Cohen said.