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About TIO

Bob’s internet is down, and he can’t fix it with his telco. Where can he go for help? And what is an Ombudsman?

Our Purpose

We provide a fair, independent, and accessible external dispute resolution service for individual consumers, occupiers and owners of property, small businesses and not-for-profits who have been unable to resolve their complaint with a phone or internet service provider.

Our service is free and complies with the Government Benchmarks for Industry-Based Customer Dispute Resolution

We fulfil our statutory obligation to resolve objections to land access activities proposed by telecommunications carriers.

We use the most appropriate means to resolve a complaint, from referral to conciliation, investigation and determination.

We collect and review information about complaints provided by consumers, occupiers, and service providers. We use these insights to provide analysis and views to the community, regulators, government and the telecommunications industry about matters that are impacting, or may impact, on telecommunications consumers. We also analyse this information to identify trends and systemic issues, to inform of areas for improvement, and to assist with addressing the root causes of complaints.

Structure and Governance

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Limited (TIO) was established in 1993 to provide a free and independent dispute resolution service for small business and individual consumers who have an unresolved complaint about their telephone or internet service in Australia. Telecommunications service providers (including carriers and eligible carriage services providers) are required to be members and fund the dispute resolution scheme operated by the TIO.

The TIO has jurisdiction to handle complaints about telephone and internet services. It has authority to make decisions that are binding on the service provider (up to $100,000).

The TIO is a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee and governed by a Board of Directors. The Board consists of equal numbers of industry, consumer and independent Directors, with a requirement that one of the independent Directors be appointed as Chair. The organisation is managed by an independent Ombudsman in accordance with the Company Constitution and Terms of Reference.

Fact Sheet: Overview of board and member decision making.

Our Organisation chart details our current business structure. 

Agreements with regulators and other bodies

The TIO has memoranda of understanding with our key regulators and other bodies to support compliance with our scheme and facilitate information sharing about systemic issues and complaint trends.