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Dial up your telco rights

CHOICE says consumers with ongoing telco issues can leave a contract without penalty

18 October 2017

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE is reminding consumers of their right to ask for a better deal as complaints about slow internet speeds and poor landline and mobile services rise to frustrating highs.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) today revealed complaints about landline phones, mobile phones and internet services jumped by 41.1 per cent in the last financial year, with complaints about services delivered through the NBN more than doubling [1].

"There's nothing more frustrating than when the internet drops out while you're streaming your favourite TV show and you're left playing the waiting game," says CHOICE Head of Media, Tom Godfrey.

Consumers should keep detailed records of any outage they experience, including any financial impact.

"Take the information to your provider when making a complaint. You can then ask for compensation whether it's refunded data or a deducted bill," says Mr Godfrey.

Consumers can also register the problem with the TIO if they feel the issue wasn't adequately resolved.

"Switching providers is another option if you're completely fed-up," says Mr Godfrey.

"Consumers should be able to cancel their contract and leave without penalty if the problem is ongoing and the telco isn't providing its contracted service."

With so many Australians experiencing issues with the NBN, CHOICE is urging internet service providers (ISP's) to deliver internet speeds that meet their stated claims.

"In today's tech-reliant world, a reliable internet service has become a basic necessity and consumers are entitled to services that are reasonably fit for their purpose," says Mr Godfrey.

"The fact is, ISP's charge premium prices for their super fast speeds so they must deliver in return".

CHOICE has been trying to get to the bottom of speed issues to make sure internet service providers are honest about what they can actually deliver to customers through its NBN speed test.

Australians from across the country have signed up to be part of the project, with CHOICE and Enex selecting participants based on postcode to ensure national coverage.

For more information:

Tips on what to do when your internet service fails:

  • Record: Log the dates and times of any outage, disconnection or slow speed. Make sure your records include any financial impact
  • Make a complaint: Contact your ISP as soon as you can to address the issue, and ask for compensation
  • Escalate: If you are unable to resolve a dispute with your telco, you can register the problem with the telco ombudsman at
  • Switch provider: If the problem is ongoing, you may be able to cancel your contract without penalty

Media Inquiries

Tom Godfrey, Head of Media and Spokesperson
0430 172 669