From Thursday 6 June 2013, the TIO will be using revised conciliation letters. Current letters have been in use for two years, and it was time to refresh our messages and streamline some aspects of the conciliation process.
Expected benefits of the revised letters are enhanced exchange of complaint information and reduced administration.
Particular changes we would like to draw to your attention are covered below.
If you have any questions or feedback on these changes, please direct them to your TIO Account Manager, or contact Industry Engagement on 08 8680 8424 or at email@example.com
A key to successful resolution of complaints is a clear and shared understanding of complaint outcomes, with prompt implementation of agreed actions.
To facilitate this, we will now ask Members to tell us:
- the specific resolution actions agreed with a consumer, and
- the date of these actions.
This will allow the consumer and provider to confirm what each party has agreed to do and when they will do it. This information will help complaints to remain settled after resolution.
From Thursday 6 June we will no longer send a separate letter advising that we have closed a conciliation file. Instead, we will notify you of file closure by copying you into our outcome emails to consumers. We will also tell consumers that we have copied correspondence to you.
This approach is provided for in our Complaint Handling Procedures - Closure, which say: ‘The TIO Officer will notify the Member of the closure in writing by providing a copy of the letter to the consumer.’
Exceptions: We will continue to send a separate closure letter to Members in the following scenarios:
- if the consumer has not given us their email address
- if we have not sent the consumer an outcome letter. For example, if we close a case file after a consumer does not respond to our request for information.
Credit management action after complaint resolution
As we will no longer be sending Members separate case closure letters, we take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of following industry rules on credit management after resolution of a complaint.
Relevant sections in the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code include:
- 6.7 – Notice to restrict, suspend or disconnect a service
- 6.9.1(b) – which requires a service provider to ‘advise the Customer or former Customer when the Supplier will commence any Credit Management action after that dispute [about a specified disputed amount] has been resolved.'
- 6.14 – Credit management in Financial Hardship
Note also that some of our outcome letters give consumers 10 business days to request a review of a TIO Officer’s decision or contact us with other feedback. Please take these timeframes into account before re‑starting credit management.