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About us


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 objectives and rules are contained in the Terms of Reference and Company Constitution.

The TIO complies with the Commonwealth Benchmarks for Industry-Based Customer Dispute Resolution Services

The TIO was governed by a Board and a Council until 26 February 2014, when the members of the Company adopted a unitary governance model. The TIO's governing documents were replaced at that time.

Read the TIO’s previous Constitution(PDF | 83.1 KB)

Read the TIO’s previous Memorandum and Articles of Association (PDF | 151.3 KB)

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 handle complaints about telephone and internet services, including by collecting any documents or information relevant to the complaint. We have the authority to decide the resolution of a complaint (the telecommunications company is legally obliged to implement) up to $50,000, and make recommendations up to $100,000. For complaints we received before 1 July 2012, we can make binding decisions up to $30,000 and recommendations up to $85,000.

We may also stop handling a complaint at any time if it is fair and reasonable to do so.

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 Board of Directors, and is managed by an independent Ombudsman and a Deputy Ombudsman.

The Board is chaired by an independent Director and contains a balanced mix of Directors with industry and consumer experience, an Independent Director with not-for-profit governance experience and Independent Director with commercial governance experience. The Board has adopted a charter that sets out its roles and responsibilities.

Memorandum of Understanding with ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) refreshed their Memorandum of Understanding on 12 December 2013.

The revised MoU consolidates a streamlined process for referrals and exchange of information that has been in development since the new Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code came into effect.

Read a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (PDF, 2.5MB)

Disability Action Plan

Our Disability Action Plan 2013-2016 demonstrates our commitment to providing an accessible complaints resolution service to all Australians. It sets out the steps that we will take between 2013 and 2016 to eliminate as far as possible discrimination in the way that we provide our complaint resolution service. 

Available formats

Latest Media Releases

Faulty internet

Case Study - Complainant 1

A woman contacted us about speed and drop-out issues with her wireless internet connection.

Next step?

  • make an online complaint
  • 1800 062 058
  • WritePO Box 276
    Collins Street West Vic 8007
  • 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