A new survey has revealed that consumers are resilient in solving telecommunication complaint.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s (TIO) research paper, Resilient Consumers, reported on a survey of more than 500 consumers who lodged complaints with the TIO between July and August 2010.

The survey found that 55 per cent of consumers had contact with their service providers five or more times before ringing the TIO while 54 per cent said they raised the matter with their service provider at least a month before contacting the TIO.

According to Ombudsman Simon Cohen, consumers who come to the TIO are spending a substantial time and effort solving their complaints.
“They report being transferred from department to department, not being transferred to supervisors and, perhaps most frustratingly, getting no solution or a broken promise for their efforts. They are – by any measure – resilient consumers,” he said.

The survey found the most common reasons for complaining to the TIO were because there was no solution offered by the service provider (39 per cent) or a promise to resolve the complaint was not kept (39 per cent) but 90 per cent of these complaints were solved once they were lodged with the TIO.

 “Most of these cases should not have come to us in the first place,” Cohen said. “The fact that they are most often resolved by referral by the TIO to the right department is strong evidence that these consumers can be treated better.”

The Ombudsman has recommended introducing clearer pathways for consumers to make complaints, and making sure all employees can recognise when a complaint is being made and who is best able in their company to deal with it.