Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts

Monday, 17 December 2018

Once again peak scam is here for the summer

Throughout the year there are periods where I receive scam calls up to twice a week.

Sometimes I am warned about my imminent arrest for tax evasion, sometimes I am informed that I have compensation money coming to me from a motor vehicle accident in which I was allegedly involved, but most often I am told by a fake Telstra representative that there is something wrong with my computer [substitute various alternative scenarios here] and that my Internet service will be cancelled unless I power up my PC and follow instructions.

I stopped listening to their spiel years ago and now simply hang up.

However, telephone and email scamming is now ubiquitous and peak scam is on us for another holiday season.......

ACCC ScamWatch, 11 December 2018:

Watch out for holiday season scams

Scamwatch is warning people to be careful about being caught out by holiday season scams.

“Scammers will take advantage of special days or major events like Christmas to fleece people of their money or personal information,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Here are three common holiday season scams people should look out for:

Online shopping scams: scammers will set up fake online stores or post goods for sale in buy‑swap-sell groups or online classified sites to trick people into buying items that don’t exist. This scam has cost Australians nearly $3 million in 2018, with more than 8,700 reports.

Travel scams: scammers trick people into believing they’ve won a holiday or scored a really good deal on a travel package, like a cruise. Unfortunately the prize or the cheap accommodation are phony. In 2018, nearly $135,000 has been lost to this scam.

Parcel delivery scams: scammers may ask you to print off a label, do a survey, claim a prize, or view the status of your delivery by clicking on a link or downloading an attachment. Some scammers may even call or text with claims about an unsuccessful delivery. These scams are aimed at getting people to download malware onto their computer, or give up their personal information. People have lost about $31,000 to these scams in 2018.

“Scamwatch has also seen a massive influx of reports and money lost to tax scams. In November we received 7,500 reports of these scams and $400,000 was reported lost,” Ms Rickard said.

“This isn’t a usual holiday season scam, however a lot of people are getting calls from scammers pretending to be from the tax office or the police and threatening them with arrest over unpaid tax debts.”

“This is a scam. If you ever get a call or email containing threats like this, hang up the phone or delete the email,” Ms Rickard said.

Ms Rickard added that the key to avoiding a scammer’s con these holidays is a healthy dose of scepticism and research.

“We love snagging a great deal online for a loved one’s Christmas present and the idea of a bargain holiday is perfect for many after a long year. But don’t fall for it,” Ms Rickard said.

“Be sceptical about an online store you haven’t used before. Do some research to see if they’re legitimate and don’t be fooled by big discounts. With travel deals, call the accommodation provider directly, for example the cruise line or hotel, to check if the deal is legitimate.”

“If you see a seemingly great deal on an accommodation rental website like Airbnb, make sure you only communicate and pay through the official site to avoid getting stung by a fake listing,” Ms Rickard said.

“We’re all expecting parcels this time of year but be careful about online links and never download attachments. If you’re wondering if a delivery notice is legitimate, check the tracking number at the Australia Post or other delivery company website, or call them directly using a number you find from an online search or the phone book.”

“While with friends and family over the holidays, consider taking the opportunity to spread the warnings about these scams particularly to those loved ones who may be vulnerable.” Ms Rickard said.

Further information about holiday season scams is available at People can also follow @scamwatch_gov (link is external) on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts to get up-to-date warnings.

The Daily Examiner, 15 December 2018; p.5:

When Jenny Hall had a missed call on her phone and a message claiming to be from Centrelink in relation to an adjustment to some payments, she didn’t give a second thought in calling back.

However Ms Hall was sceptical of the man who answered the phone when she called back and when he called her a “f------ b----” after his legitimacy was questioned, her suspicions were confirmed.

“I rang back and they gave me a number to call and a claim number so I thought it sounded real,” she said.

“I rang the number and some guy answered the phone and at one point we got cut off, so I called back and the same person answered and I thought that was strange.
“He claimed they went through some records and taxes which were linked to Centrelink, which I said was strange because I get an accountant to do my taxes.

“Then he started saying that I needed to get a lawyer because I had a big tax bill. I said wait there and I asked for his name and started asking him some questions.
“I said I wanted to talk to his superior and he said that he was in charge and that’s when I knew he was lying.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website revealed reports of tax scams threatening arrest or jail over unpaid debts have jumped significantly in the past month…..

The Daily Examiner, 15 December 2018; p.13:

A Casino woman has a message for shoppers after being scammed by a market stallholder at the Jacaranda Festival Markets.

Kelly-ann Oosterbeek bought a powdered anti-inflammatory product in Grafton, and paid the $80 by Eftpos.

Mrs Oosterbeek was then told the item would be posted to her.

“If you feel like anything is slightly off with any purchase you are making, walk away,” she warned.

The “supremely weird” transaction process made Mrs Oosterbeek feel nervous.
She was concerned enough to take photos of the stall, and she asked to see the stallholder’s business credentials. She also took photos of the registration, ABN and insurance, and got a signed receipt saying the product would be posted.

“I was standing there with my hubby, four of my six kids and my daughter’s partner – I had so many witnesses,” Mrs Oosterbeek said.

But the product never came.

“I want to warn people of the Northern Rivers because the lady told me she was heading north with her market stall,” Mrs Oosterbeek said.

Trying to give the stallholder the benefit of the doubt, Mrs Oosterbeek waited a few days before contacting her to make sure the product had been posted, but she claimed Mrs Oosterbeek had been given it on the day.

“They wouldn’t budge with their claims, saying I was trying to rip them off and eventually saying my husband had taken the product and not told me,” she said.

“I wasn’t too worried – I’d done everything right as a consumer and I felt really covered – so I took the case to Fair Trading.

“Even with all of my evidence, witness statements, and a signed receipt promising postage of the item there was nothing they could do.”

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Quotes of the Week

“in the Liberal Party, the problem is intellectual honesty, intellectual capacity, courage and integrity. Liberal Party politicians are not even game to attempt ideological coherence in their public pronouncements. They prefer simplistic slogans, message manipulation, outright lies, and varying levels of verbal bullying [Academic and blogger Ingrid Matthews writing in oecomuse, 27 November 2018]

“I note, and accept, advice that there is nothing in the bill that would abrogate parliamentary privilege. However, the main issue with covert access in relation to privilege … is that there would be no opportunity for a parliamentarian who considers that material is protected by privilege to raise such a claim.”  [ Speaker of the Australian Senate, Senator Scott Ryan, quoted in The Guardian, 29 November 2018]

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

When you don't like the results when you Google yourself - threaten retribution

This was the US President Donald Trump on Tuesday 28 August 2018.....

Google responded to these accusations on the same day.....

Thursday, 9 August 2018

YouTube begins to face the Internet's darker realities in 2018

The Hill, 6 August 2018:

YouTube on Monday said it had banned Alex Jones’s Infowars channel, following similar actions taken against the controversial right-wing conspiracy theorist by other major U.S. technology companies.

After the channel violated YouTube's policies against child endangerment and hate speech, Jones was banned for trying to circumvent the site's enforcement measures, according to a source familiar with the company’s decision. The source said Jones received a 90-day moratorium on livestreaming for violating its policies and that he then tried to promote his flagship radio show on other YouTube pages, prompting a permanent ban.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The two very different faces Facebook Inc presents to potential advertisers and lawmakers

Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter, No 98, July 2018, pp8-9:

98.2.3 Facebook described itself as a ‘publisher’ in 2013

Facebook described itself as a “publisher” as far back as 2013, leaked documents obtained by the Australian reveal. This contradicts the message that chief executive Mark Zuckerberg gave to US Congress, in interviews and in speeches (Australian, 9 July 2018). A 71-page PowerPoint presentation prepared by the then managing director of Facebook, Stephen Scheeler, outlines how the tech giant was the “second-highest reaching publisher in Australia” when compared with traditional media companies such as Nine and Seven. The internal sales document is partly based on data gathered by measurement firm Nielsen as well as confidential internal figures including quarterly revenue targets. There is no mention of Facebook being a publisher in Nielsen’s original report; it categorises Facebook as a “brand” in its Online Landscape Review published in May 2013. A slide in the presentation produced by Scheeler, the most senior executive at Facebook’s Australia and New Zealand business at the time, changed Nielsen’s description of Facebook from a brand to a “publisher”, showing that the social media giant views itself as such.

This is significant because Facebook has long argued it is a tech platform, not a publisher or a media company, when questioned about how it has generated vast profits by siphoning off billions of dollars from the news industry. The admission in the document contrasts with Facebook’s recent public contribution to a high-powered Australian inquiry into the local digital media market. The company repeatedly calls itself a “platform” in a 56-page written submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

Zuckerberg has persistently rejected the suggestion that Facebook is a publisher, presenting the company as a neutral platform that does not have traditional journalistic responsibilities. In April, Zuckerberg was asked by US senators investigating the Cambridge Analytica data scandal to explain whether his company was a tech company or publisher. Dan Sullivan, a Republican Senator for Alaska, said: “That goes to an important question about what regulation or action, if any, we would take.” Asked by Senator Sullivan if Facebook was a “tech company or the world’s largest publisher” during his second day of testimony on Capitol Hill, the Facebook co-founder responded: “I view us as a tech company because the primary thing that we do is build technology and products.” Senator Sullivan pressed further: “You said you’re responsible for your content, which makes you kind of a publisher, right?” Zuckerberg did not admit Facebook was a media company or publisher, but did say it was responsible for what is posted on its platforms after it emerged that the company allowed Russia to spread disinformation in the US presidential election.

“I agree that we’re responsible for the content. But we don’t produce the content. I think that when people ask us if we’re a media company or a publisher, my understanding of what the heart of what they’re really getting at is: do we feel responsible for the content on our platform? The answer to that I think is clearly yes. But I don’t think that that’s incompatible with fundamentally at our core being a technology company where the main thing that we do is have engineers and build products.”

Monday, 23 July 2018

Clifton Gardens-Mosman residents, you have a data breach......

I spy with my little eye a former "young broker of the year", a number of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds and a slew of private corporations whose registered addresses are not so private anymore.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Turnbull and Keenan botching digital transformation policy

The Australian Minister for Human Services, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation and Liberal MP for Stirling, 46 year-old Michael Fayat Keenan, is all gung-ho for digital transformation.

The problem is that he is just not good at being transformative – rather like his prime minister.

One could almost see the trainwreck coming down the line from the moment of then Communications Minister Turnbull's initial joint announcement with then Prime Minister Tony Abbott in 2015.

Despite the obvious problems Michael Keenan will be commencing pre-rollout trials of a facial recognition program this year,

Yahoo News, 1 July 20118:

Welfare recipients will soon be asked to have their faces scanned before they can claim their benefits.

It is part of a new trial of biometric security measures the government will begin within months.

Similar to how SmartGates work at airports to check passports, government services will ask recipients to take a photo on a computer or phone to create a MyGov ID.
The photo will then be checked against passports and driver’s licences.
But there are questions as to whether this information could be misused.

Australian Privacy Foundation’s Bernard Robertson-Dunn said people needed to be assured “it works properly” and the government “doesn’t use the technology to do things it didn’t say it was going to do”.

Human Services Minister Michael Keenan said on May 1 the misuse of data which could be used to “impinge on people’s privacy” was “clearly” a concern for many Australians.

The 2016 Census is an example of a recent government technology fail….

Uses for the MyGov ID will trial from October – with an all-online way to get a tax file number.

Next year Centrelink services, including Newstart and Youth Allowance, will also be trialled.

Here is the organisational and technological mess that Keenan helped create…..

The Canberra Times, 29 June 2018, p.14:

The agency charged with guiding IT projects has been sidelined from major policies and is removed from the Coalition's thinking about digital reform, an inquiry into the government's $10 billion tech spend has found.

A report released on Wednesday has called for a central vision to guide the government in its IT reform and found changes to the Digital Transformation Agency had left it watching on as major tech projects hit disaster.

The inquiry found the DTA did not have the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's botched project to adopt biometric technology on its watchlist and that it had failed to involve itself in determining why the Education Department's Australian Apprenticeship Management System project was called off.

It was sidelined as the Department of Home Affairs took charge of cyber policy, the Prime Minister's department assumed control of data policy and the newly created Office of the Information Commissioner was created separate from the DTA, the report said.

"The evidence heard by this committee revealed an organisation that was not at the centre of government thinking about digital transformation, or responsible for the creation and enactment of a broader vision of what that transformation would look like," it said., 12 June 2018:

Australians will be able to access government services with a single log-in under a plan to create a "single digital identity" by 2025.

Michael Keenan, the federal minister in charge of digital services, said face-to-face interactions with government services would be greatly reduced.

"Think of it as a 100-point digital ID check that will unlock access to almost any government agency through a single portal such as a myGov account," Mr Keenan said.

The minister wants Australia to be a world leader in digital government, with almost all services to be available online by 2025.

Mr Keenan said having 30 different log-ins for government services is not good enough.

"The old ways of doing things, like forcing our customers to do business with us over the counter, must be re-imagined and refined," he said.

People will need to establish their digital identity once before being able to use it across services.

The first of several pilot programs using a "beta" version of what will be known as myGovID will begin in October.

The initial pilot will enable 100,000 participants to apply for a tax file number online, which Mr Keenan says will reduce processing time to a day from up to a month currently.

In a pilot starting from March next year, services including student identification and Centrelink will be connected to the digital identity.

Also from March 2019, 100,000 people will be able to use their digital identity to create their My Health Record online.

Mr Keenan says one face-to-face or over-the-counter transaction costs on average about $17 to process, while an online transaction can cost less than 40 cents.

The Human Services department will operate as the gateway between service providers and people.

"This is key to protecting privacy, as the exchange will act as a double-blind - service providers will not see any of the user's ID information and identity providers will not know what services each user is accessing," Mr Keenan said.

Labor digital economy spokesman Ed Husic said the Turnbull government was responsible for a "dirty dozen" of failed digital transformation failures, including the census and tax office website crashes.

"The biggest challenge confronting the Turnbull government is to quit its addiction to glitzy digital announcements and get stuck into properly delivering these multimillion-dollar projects," Mr Husic said.

The Australian Crime Intelligence Commission has suspended the contract for its beleaguered biometric identification services project in order to renegotiate it after the contractor failed to meet the deadline for completion and the cost ran $40 million over budget.

It follows a recommendation from a scathing independent review late last year that the contract be overhauled, the project be simplified and the timeline for delivery changed.

In 2016 ACIC (then CrimTrac) contracted NEC Australia to deliver a program that would replace the national automated fingerprint identification system, adding in facial recognition, palm prints and foot prints and would be available for use by police forces around the country.

Industry news website InnovationAus reported on Wednesday that NEC contractors had been marched from ACIC's premises on Monday June 4, after being told that the project had been suspended at the start of June.
It is believed the project has been suspended until Friday, while the negotiations over the contract take place.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report last November seen by Fairfax Media said "a chain of decisions involving all levels and stakeholders" had led to the project running behind schedule and over budget.

It recommended that the scope of the project be simplified and standardised, and called it "highly challenged" and presenting a "high risk" to the commission.
"There is low confidence in likelihood of delivery which requires focus to achieve turnaround."

Poor communication, operational silos, limited collaboration and a failure to estimate the project's complexity had blown it off-track, the report said.

The report also recommended that the existing fingerprint database contract with Morpho be extended for 12 months after its expiry last month. It is not clear whether this contract was extended as recommended……

NEC Australia was also the contractor for the failed Australian apprentice management system, which was dumped by the Department of Education and Training last month due to critical defects, also found by a report by PwC.

InnovationAus, 12 June 2018:

NEC Australia won a $52 million tender for the Biometric Identification Services project in early 2016. The project involved replacing the ACIC’s National Automated Fingerprint Identification System with a “multi-modal biometric identification” service, incorporating fingerprints, footprints and facial recognition.

But the project is running behind schedule and is understood to be returning a high amount of false positives.

ABC News, 28 May 2018:

A massive case of mistaken identity in the UK is prompting calls for a rethink on plans to use facial recognition technology to track down terrorists and traffic offenders.

"If you have technology that is not up to scratch and it is bringing back high returns of false positives then you really need to go back to the drawing board," president-elect of the Law Council of Australia Arthur Moses told AM.

The comments follow revelations a London police trial of facial recognition technology generated 104 "alerts", of which 102 were false.

The technology scanned CCTV footage from the Notting Hill Carnival and Six Nations Rugby matches in London in search of wanted criminals.

Friday, 15 June 2018

What I learnt about NBN Co this week

It is easy to lose track of what federal government-owned NBN Co is up to these days, so I did a quick search of mainstream media reports and the company website. This is what I found.

In the nine months up to 31 March 2018 NBN Co listed $1,413 million in revenue, up from $665 million for the same period last year. Nevertheless it appears the company is operating at a loss.
NBN Co’s CEO earns est. $3.62 million per annum — approximately six times more than Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Million-dollar salary packages are paid to another four top executives.

More than 480 of NBN Co’s staff are on $200,000-plus salaries and 120 earn more than $300,000.

NBN Co paid $66 million in bonuses to its staff last financial year.

In February and March 2018 the company’s  three top executives spent almost $40,000 on business-class flights and accommodation during a trip to Spain to attend a conference.

Although NBN plans are advertised with speeds such as 25Mbps or 50Mbps, performance on fixed wireless drops in the evening and the CEO has stated that "We don't have the money to invest in this to take it above 6Mbps” – which means that many customers cannot get a decent image when streaming videos or live entertainment.

NBN Co has fobbed off customers 80,000 times since July last year – nine per cent of all scheduled appointments.

There were at least 42,510 formal complaints made about NBN services from January to December 2017.

More than one third of NBN users wish it had never happened, according to new research by released on 8 June 2018. Only 43 per cent of respondents still on an ADSL or cable Internet connection said they were looking forward to switching to NBN.

The basic NBN service is being redefined and entry-level retail prices for NBN broadband are set to rise.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Ballina not happy with second-rate NBN installation plans

The Northern Star, 4 May 2018:

BALLINA'S deputy mayor is calling on residents to speak out against about the NBNCo's plans to deliver "second class technology" to local residents.

Cr Keith Williams said he had been contacted by residents in East Ballina, Skennars Head and Lennox Head to say they would be getting "inferior" fibre to the node NBN connections.

But he said fibre to the kerb should be the minimum installation standard across the shire.

"We know that fibre to the node places more reliance on the copper network, limits potential speeds and is more expensive to upgrade," Cr Williams said.

"This places a real limit on the economic potential of the area, not just now, but potentially for years to come.

"It makes no sense whatsoever when you consider that all these areas are close to the coast and more exposed to the effects of salt water.

"This is precisely the areas where you want less reliance on copper."

Cr Williams said failure to oppose NBN rollout plans now, risked leaving residents in these areas with a second class NBN.

"NBN Co have insisted this is not second class technology, being essentially the same technology as fibre to the kerb," he said.

"In this they are correct, but they avoid the central point.

"The greater reliance on the old copper network means it is a second rate service, slower, more prone to dropouts and more expensive to upgrade.

"From my enquiries to date it seems there is no formal mechanism to seek a review of the NBN Co rollout plans.

"The only way these things change is by community pressure and adverse publicity.
"I'm asking everyone in the area to go to the NBN website, check what the rollout plans are for your house and if it says Fibre to the Node, let NBN Co know that it just isn't good enough.

"You deserve better."

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Well hoorah, NBN Co is to roll out its inbuilt obsolescence across Yamba commencing in June 2018

It has been reported in local media that NBN Co will be commencing the Yamba rollout of its allegedly high speed broadband in June 2018, with Maclean and Grafton rollouts to commence in January 2019.

This news is quite frankly underwhelming.

Whatever information NBN Co was giving out obviously didn’t include the type of connection that was on offer, as this important point was not mentioned by journalists and there is contradictory information on the company's website.

These three urban areas in the Clarence Valley are yet to hear if households and businesses are being offered fibre-to-the-curb, fibre-to-the-node or fixed wireless.

Because it is certain that the best option fibre-to-the-premises isn’t on offer to regional second cousins of the big metropolitan areas.

Personally I will carefully refuse to look at any construction works taking place in Yamba come June, July and August.

The sight of all those water-filled trenches will be too depressing.

Who starts extensive in-ground construction in winter at the low-lying, high water table mouth of a floodplain, I ask you?

* Image from Hakuri Sad Party

Monday, 23 April 2018

Away from the spotlight of congressional hearings Zuckerberg and Facebook Inc. show their true colours – implementing weaker privacy protection for 1.5 billion users

The Guardian, 19 April 2018:

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally.

In a tweak to its terms and conditions, Facebook is shifting the responsibility for all users outside the US, Canada and the EU from its international HQ in Ireland to its main offices in California. It means that those users will now be on a site governed by US law rather than Irish law.

The move is due to come into effect shortly before General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in Europe on 25 May. Facebook is liable under GDPR for fines of up to 4% of its global turnover – around $1.6bn – if it breaks the new data protection rules.

The shift highlights the cautious phrasing Facebook has applied to its promises around GDPR. Earlier this month, when asked whether his company would promise GDPR protections to its users worldwide, Zuckerberg demurred. “We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” he said.
A week later, during his hearings in front of the US Congress, Zuckerberg was again asked if he would promise that GDPR’s protections would apply to all Facebook users. His answer was affirmative – but only referred to GDPR “controls”, rather than “protections”. Worldwide, Facebook has rolled out a suite of tools to let users exercise their rights under GDPR, such as downloading and deleting data, and the company’s new consent-gathering controls are similarly universal.

Facebook told Reuters “we apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland”. It said the change was only carried out “because EU law requires specific language” in mandated privacy notices, which US law does not.

In a statement to the Guardian, it added: “We have been clear that we are offering everyone who uses Facebook the same privacy protections, controls and settings, no matter where they live. These updates do not change that.”

Privacy researcher Lukasz Olejnik disagreed, noting that the change carried large ramifications for the affected users. “Moving around one and a half billion users into other jurisdictions is not a simple copy-and-paste exercise,” he said.

“This is a major and unprecedented change in the data privacy landscape. The change will amount to the reduction of privacy guarantees and the rights of users, with a number of ramifications, notably for consent requirements. Users will clearly lose some existing rights, as US standards are lower than those in Europe.

“Data protection authorities from the countries of the affected users, such as New Zealand and Australia, may want to reassess this situation and analyse the situation. 

Even if their data privacy regulators are less rapid than those in Europe, this event is giving them a chance to act. Although it is unclear how active they will choose to be, the global privacy regulation landscape is changing, with countries in the world refining their approach. Europe is clearly on the forefront of this competition, but we should expect other countries to eventually catch up.” [my yellow highlighting]


The Australian Dept. of Human Services still continues to invite those who use its welfare services to visit its five Facebook pages on which it will:

* post about payments and services 

* answer questions 
* give useful tips 
* share news, and 
* give updates on relevant issue

All associated data (including questions and answers) will of course be captured by Facebook, then collated, transferred, stored overseas, monetised and possibly 'weaponised' during the next election campaign cycle which occurs in the area visitors to these pages live.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Australian Minister for Communications and longstanding member of the far-right pressure group the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is up in arms because Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman tells some home truths

On Tuesday 17 April the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (TIO) sent out the media release in this post.

It looks suspiciously like the Minister is now approaching a scheduled review of telecommunications consumer protections and the complaints process with a view to quash an inconvenient truth –  that transfers to the version of the National Broadband Network (NBN) cobbled together by Tony Abbott and MalcolmTurnbull are a dismal failure for far too many Australian businesses and households.

Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (TIO), media release, 17 April 2018:

Report highlights increase in complaints about landline, mobile and internet services

Australian residential consumers and small businesses made 84,914 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in the last six months of 2017 (1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017). In this period, complaints about landline, mobile and internet services, increased by 28.7 per cent compared to the same six month period in 2016.

Publishing the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s Six Monthly Update today (Tuesday 17 April, 2018), Ombudsman Judi Jones said “The telecommunications industry in Australia continues to experience significant change. An increasing range of products and services are being offered to consumers, expectations for the quality of phone and internet services are high, and the rollout of the National Broadband Network is changing the way we use telecommunications services.

“However, consumers still seem to be facing the same problems, particularly with their bills and the customer service they receive. Confidence in services being updated or transferred reliably, faulty equipment, and poor service quality were also recorded as key issues. Additionally, the wider issues relating to phone or internet problems such as debt management are concerning.”

Jones added, “Complaints about services delivered over the National Broadband Network continued to increase compared to the same six month period in 2016. This indicates the consumer experience is still not meeting expectations for all. Recent changes to regulation and an increase in our powers to resolve complaints are positive steps that will help improve the consumer experience.”

Highlights for the period 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017 include:

* 84,914 total complaints were received
* 74,729 complaints (88 per cent) were from residential consumers
* 9,947 complaints (11.7 per cent) were from small businesses

Landline, mobile, internet, multiple services and property

Complaints for the period increased 28.7 per cent compared to the same six month period in 2016.

* 9,447 complaints (11.1 per cent) were recorded about landline phone services
* 24,923 complaints (29.4 per cent) were recorded about mobile phone services
* 23,785 complaints (28 per cent) were recorded about internet services
* 26,112 complaints (30.8 per cent) were recorded about multiple services*
* 647 complaints (0.8 per cent) were recorded about property*

* Charges and fees, unsatisfactory response from the provider (provider response), and poor service quality were the most common issues.

Small Businesses

Between 1 July and 31 December 2017 complaints from small businesses increased 15.6 per cent to 9,947 compared to the same period in 2016.

* Complaints from Small Businesses accounted for 11.7 per cent of total complaints for the period

* 2,178 complaints (21.9 per cent) were recorded about landline phone services
* 2,074 complaints (20.9 per cent) were recorded about mobile phone services
* 1,716 complaints (17.3 per cent) were recorded about internet services
* 3,937 complaints (39.6 per cent) were recorded about multiple services*
* 42 complaints (0.4 per cent) were recorded about property
*       The main issues affecting small businesses were charges and fees, unsatisfactory response from the provider (provider response), and no service.

Complaints by State

All states and territories in Australia saw a growth in complaints in the last six months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

Queensland recorded the highest growth in complaints, an increase of 39.3 per cent, followed by Western Australia with 36.5 per cent.

Complaints by state (in alphabetical order) are as follows:

* Australian Capital Territory made 1,184 complaints, an increase of 11 per cent
* New South Wales made 26,914 complaints, an increase of 27.9 per cent
* Northern Territory made 504 complaints, an increase of 20 per cent
* Queensland made 16,418 complaints, an increase of 39.3 per cent
* South Australia made 6,552 complaints, an increase of 22.7 per cent
* Tasmania made 1,614 complaints, an increase of 33.1 per cent
* Victoria made 23,954 complaints, an increase of 30.5 per cent
* Western Australia made 7,381 complaints, an increase of 36.5 per cent

* The main issues affecting Australian states and territories were charges and fees, unsatisfactory response from the provider (provider response), and poor service quality

Services delivered over the National Broadband Network

Complaints about services delivered over the National Broadband Network increased 203.9 per cent to 22,827 on the same period in 2016.

* 14,055 complaints were recorded about service quality
* 8,757 complaints were recorded about delays in establishing a connection
*       The main issues affecting residential consumers and small businesses were unsatisfactory response from the provider (provider response), poor service quality, and connecting a service (connection/changing provider)


*From 1 July 2017, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman changed the recording of complaints. There are now five complaint service categories: landline phone services, mobile phone services, internet services, multiple services (where the consumer is complaining about more than one phone or internet issue), or a complaint about damage or access to property. The changes mean data will more accurately reflect the description of complaints given by residential consumers and small businesses.  The changes also make it easier to see the issues facing the telecommunication industry, helping providers improve the delivery of phone and internet services. Trend analysis will build over time from the start of this reporting period.