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About us

Mission

The TIO is a fast, free and fair dispute resolution service for small business and residential customers who have a complaint about their telephone or internet service in Australia. We are independent and do not take sides. Our goal is to settle disputes quickly in an objective and non-bureaucratic way.

History

Established in 1993 and provided for under a Federal Act of Parliament, the TIO is operated by Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Ltd and is independent of industry, the government and consumer organisations.

The TIO’s objectives and rules are contained in the Terms of Reference and Company Constitution.

The TIO complies with the Commonwealth Benchmarks for Industry-Based Customer Dispute Resolution Services

The TIO was governed by a Board and a Council until 26 February 2014, when the members of the Company adopted a unitary governance model. The TIO's governing documents were replaced at that time.

Read the TIO’s previous Constitution(PDF | 83.1 KB)

Read the TIO’s previous Memorandum and Articles of Association (PDF | 151.3 KB)


Vision and roles

Our vision is to deliver an exceptional telecommunications dispute resolution service for consumers, service providers and the Australian community. We aim to contribute to better customer service and complaint handling within the telecommunications industry.

The TIO plays four main roles in the Australian telecommunications industry:

Resolving disputes: the TIO’s first and primary role is to provide a dispute resolution service that is accessible, independent, fair, efficient, responsive and effective.

Improving telecommunications services: the TIO assists telecommunications service providers and their industry to improve their services to consumers, through identifying systemic issues and engaging with industry representatives.

Being an independent voice: the TIO is an independent and expert voice about matters affecting telecommunications consumers. We provide information and analysis to government and industry, and reach out to the community.

Leading by example: the TIO is innovative, adaptable, collaborative, responsive, resilient and forward thinking. We value very highly the work of our people and support their ongoing development of knowledge and skill.

Powers

We are able to investigate complaints about telephone and internet services, including by collecting all documentation and information relevant to the complaint. The TIO has the authority to make Binding Decisions (decisions the telecommunications company is legally obliged to implement) up to the value of $50,000, and Recommendations up to the value of $100,000. For complaints received by the TIO before 1 July 2012, the TIO has the authority to make Binding Decisions up to $30,000 and Recommendations up to $85,000.

The TIO also has the power to exercise its discretion not to investigate or further investigate a case in certain circumstances.

Structure

The TIO is independent of telecommunications companies, consumer groups and government.

The structure of the TIO is designed to ensure the Ombudsman's independence. The TIO is governed by a Board of Directors, and is managed by an independent Ombudsman and a Deputy Ombudsman.

The Board is chaired by an independent Director and contains a balanced mix of Directors with industry and consumer experience, an Independent Director with not-for-profit governance experience and Independent Director with commercial governance experience. The Board has adopted a charter that sets out its roles and responsibilities.

Memorandum of Understanding with ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) refreshed their Memorandum of Understanding on 12 December 2013.

The revised MoU consolidates a streamlined process for referrals and exchange of information that has been in development since the new Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code came into effect.

Read a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (PDF, 2.5MB)

Disability Action Plan

Our Disability Action Plan demonstrates our commitment to providing an accessible complaints resolution service to all Australians. It sets out the steps that we will take between 2013 and 2016 to eliminate as far as possible discrimination in the way that we provide our complaint resolution service. For more information about this plan, please contact our Community Relations Manager, Phillip Money.

Available formats

Latest Media Releases

Contracts

case study image

A man contacted us because he was not provided with the service agreed to in his contract for a bundled landline and internet service.

Next step?

  • make an online complaint
  • 1800 062 058
  • WritePO Box 276
    Collins Street West Vic 8007
  • VisitLevel 3, 595 Collins Street
    Melbourne
  • TTY1800 675 692
    National Relay ServiceCall on 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 062 058
  • Fax our consumer complaint form to 1800 630 614