Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Poor mobile reception: what can you do?

From time to time most of us will have a call drop out, delayed texts or slow internet on our mobile phone. But, if you regularly have mobile reception problems, then you are not getting the service you’re paying for. 

Before signing up:

Be sure to ask providers about coverage in the locations you will most need such as your home or your workplace. Providers have an obligation to make this information available to you. Check out their network coverage maps in store or online.

After signing up:

If you experience persistent drop outs and chronically poor mobile reception in the places that you live and work, here are five simple steps to hopefully get your issue resolved quickly.

    • Gather all the relevant information

It is useful to gather any evidence that supports your complaint. Note when and where the call dropouts happen or you have slow or no internet connectivity. If you experience call dropouts, use your bill to calculate the cost of additional calls you are forced to make - remembering you get charged flagfall every time a call is connected.

    • Think about what you want your provider to do

You will probably want your provider to fix the problem. If that’s not possible, you may want to be compensated for the extra costs you’ve incurred. You might want a one-off or regular discount on your bill.

    • Contact your provider

Make sure to clearly state that you have a complaint and give as many details as possible.

Agree on a solution with the phone company. Your phone company might offer you a new handset or SIM that works better with their network. But if the problem continues you can ask to exit your contract without paying a cancellation fee.

Save any emails and keep a log of the time and date when you make or receive calls from your provider, and write down the reference number you are given.

    • Still not happy?

Suppliers should attempt to resolve your complaint the first time you contact them and finalise it within 30 days. If you are unhappy about the response, or they don’t do what they promise, tell your provider you are dissatisfied and ask them if there is any more they can do.

    • Contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

If your complaint still isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, contact the TIO. They have the power to investigate complaints and make the provider release you from the contract, reimburse you or compensate you.

The TIO will need to establish a few facts including what expectations the dealer or provider gave you about coverage; and the extent to which you have been able to use the phone.

Lodge your complaint with the TIO by doing one of the following:

Please note: The TIO can help to resolve your complaint if you have given your provider a reasonable opportunity to address the problem and you make the complaint within 12 months of becoming aware of the problem.

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