Stages of resolution
The TIO resolves complaints through an escalating four-step process - referral, conciliation, investigation and determination. We may escalate a complaint to a higher level until an agreed resolution is reached.
Members have an opportunity to resolve the complaint before it is escalated at each level, and are notified of each escalation in writing. The timeframes for complaints vary if the issue is considered urgent.
There are different procedures for how we handle complaints at each level. These are described very briefly below and in more depth in the Complaint Handling Procedures.
- Complaints that are outside of our jurisdiction.
- We record the enquiry and may refer the consumer to an appropriate company or agency but take no further action.
- This includes cases where a consumer advises us they have not contacted your company first.
Referral (Level 1)
- Generally the first contact with us.
- A TIO officer records basic details of the complaint from the consumer and refers the complaint back to you.
- You must contact the consumer and resolve the complaint within 10 business days.
- If we consider the complaint to be urgent, you must contact the consumer within two business days. The urgency of complaints are decided on a case-by-case basis, but may include individuals with health or safety issues or who are having problems getting their landline connected, or businesses that are losing revenue due to faulty services.
Conciliation (Level 2)
- If a complaint has not been resolved after referral it will be conciliated by us (although in some cases we may conciliate a matter without first referring it).
- We will speak to the consumer and obtain as much information about their complaint, what they are seeking to reach a resolution and send you a detailed email so that you are aware of all the issues before you contact your customer.
- You have 10 days to call the consumer and discuss the complaint.
- You then explain the resolution to us in writing or by phone within 15 business days. We will call the consumer to confirm they are satisfied with the resolution offered by you. If they are, both parties will receive a letter from us confirming the agreed resolution.
- If the consumer is not satisfied with the resolution offered by you, we become more actively involved with you and the consumer to assist you to work towards a resolution.
- You will receive a call and a letter from us once the complaint is resolved.
Investigation (Level 3)
- May require extensive negotiation and investigation.
- You respond to us in writing within 20 business day. We analyse information and explore further options for resolution with both parties.
- Both parties receive a call and a letter from the TIO once the complaint is resolved.
Investigation/Determination (Level 4)
- Usually about complex issues.
- The timeframe for you to respond varies with each complaint.
- If all other methods do not resolve the complaint and you have not acted fairly and reasonably, the Ombudsman may make a binding decision or recommendation.
Discontinuing a complaint
When a consumer does not accept a resolution offered by a Member that we view as fair and reasonable, we may discontinue our investigation. The consumer can request a review of this decision.
- 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