In the March edition of MNews, the TIO informed its membership that it was aiming to further focus on conciliation of complaints that were not resolved by referral. The TIO began rolling out the revised complaint handling process with a strong focus on conciliating complaints on 4 April 2011.
The process is high in energy, with more telephone communication and less letter writing between the TIO, providers and consumers. TIO officers assist in shuttle conciliation, and evidence is generally not required where complaints can be resolved by agreement.
We began the roll-out with two TIO teams and two service providers. TIO officers are undertaking additional training including participation in enhanced conciliation skills workshops developed with the Trillium Group (http://thetrilliumgroup.com.au/) experts in conflict management.
In the last month, three more teams of TIO Officers have begun handling complaints under the conciliation process, and more providers are being transferred to the process.
The results of the new conciliation process are very positive: 70 to 80 per cent of Level 2 cases are resolved within ten business days. Encouragingly, fewer complaints are being escalated to Level 3.
By early October 2011, all TIO teams will be resolving complaints under the conciliation process.