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Complaints against telecommunications providers

Complaints against telecommunications providers

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) Scheme is a free, independent alternative dispute resolution scheme for residential consumers and small businesses. It deals with complaints relating to telephone (landline and mobile) and internet services.

As with any alternative dispute resolution service you must have attempted to resolve your dispute with your provider before approaching the TIO Scheme.

The following are examples of the sorts of complaints the TIO Scheme may be able to assist with:

  • standard telephone services
  • mobile services
  • internet services
  • pay-phones
  • delays in internet and telephone connections
  • fault repairs
  • privacy issues

Complaints can be by telephone, fax, online or in writing.

Since 1 September 2012, suppliers of telecommunications products to "consumers" have been bound by the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP). The code was revised in August 2019. The code has provided consumers and smaller business will have better protection of their rights in relation to areas such as advertising and sales practices, credit assessment, vulnerable consumers and financial hardship.

The TCP is aimed at ensuring consumers will "enjoy open, honest and fair dealings with their Supplier" and "receive clear accurate and relevant information on products and services". Other issued covered by the TCP include:

  • advertising and sales practices;
  • credit assessment;
  • billing practices;
  • credit and debt management and requirements in relation to giving notice of suspension or disconnection of services;
  • changing suppliers; and
  • monitoring of compliance by suppliers with the TCP.

Complaints handling was previously covered by the code, but since 1 July 2018 has been provided by industry standards, namely the Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints Handling) Industry Standard 2018 (Cth) and the Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints) Record-Keeping Rules 2018 (Cth). The Australian Communications and Media Authority determined these standards and rules under the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth).

Complaints against telecommunications providers  :  Last Revised: Mon Dec 16th 2019
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.