History and 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.
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 Constitution and Memorandum and Articles of Association outline its objectives and rules. The general role and powers of the TIO are included in the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 .
The TIO complies with the Commonwealth Government’s Benchmarks for Industry-Based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes.
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.
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.
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 Council and a Board of Directors, and is managed by an independent Ombudsman and a Deputy Ombudsman
The Council is comprised of five representatives from service providers and five consumer representatives, with an independent chairman. The Ombudsman has responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the TIO and for receiving, investigating and resolving or determining individual complaints. The Council provides advice to the Ombudsman on policy and procedural matters.
The Board’s responsibilities include financial management of the TIO and ensuring the TIO complies with the Memorandum and Articles of Association and the Constitution. It is comprised of at least eight directors, including seven directors appointed by service providers, and an independent director.
Latest Media Releases
- Consumer complaints to Telco Ombudsman at a five-year low
- Consumers have longer to lodge complaints with telco Ombudsman
- Natural disasters and extreme weather delay landline repairs and connections
- More consumers aware of Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
- Roaming complaints to TIO down, but disputed charges increase
- make an online complaint
- 1800 062 058
WritePO Box 276
Collins Street West Vic 8007
VisitLevel 3, 595 Collins Street
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