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 mobile coverage in the areas where you live and work. Providers have an obligation to make this information available to you. For more information on what questions to ask before signing up to a phone contract, access our tip sheet: Questions to ask before signing a phone contract.

After signing up

If you experience persistent drop outs and chronically poor mobile reception where you live and work, it means you are not getting the full benefit of the service you have paid for.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Keep records
    Keep a record of when and where you get poor reception. Before you contact your provider, make sure you gather all the information you've collected on your reception issues.

  2. Contact your provider
    Contact your phone company and tell them you have a complaint about mobile reception. Give them details about when and where the issue occurs. Make a record of each complaint you make to your service provider. Our tip sheet: How to make a complaint that gets heard can help you contact your provider.

  3. Agree on a solution
    Agree on a solution with the phone company. You might want a one-off or regular discount on your bill. Your phone company might offer you a new handset or SIM that works better with their network.

  4. If you can agree
    If you and your phone company can agree on a solution, they have 10 days to do what they promised.

  5. If you can't agree
    If you can't agree on a solution, ask to speak to a manager or supervisor.

  6. Still having problems?
    If the problem continues you can ask to exit your contract without paying a cancellation fee. If you are still not happy with the way your complaint is handled, or the problem doesn't get fixed in 10 days, you should contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO). The TIO is a free service that will help to resolve your complaint quickly.

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:

  • Complete the online form on their website.
  • Call 1800 062 058.
  • Post your complaint to PO Box 276, Collins Street West, VIC 8007.
  • Fax the consumer complaint form to 1800 630 614.

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 two years of becoming aware of the problem.

Download: docPoor mobile reception.doc96.5 KB

Download:pdfPoor mobile reception.pdf338.46 KB