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Decisions and preliminary views

If a complaint has not been resolved after going through the referral, conciliation and investigation processes, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman may decide on the resolution of the complaints. 

Telecommunications service providers are bound by our decisions. For more information about how we make decisions, please see our complaint handling procedures. 

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has made the following recent decisions.

Preliminary views

Preliminary View – 12 January 2023 

The TIO’s Preliminary View has regard to APP 7.3c. The PV sets out why a customer identifying themselves with appropriate documents in a provider’s store satisfies a provider’s requirements to protect its customer’s personal information and alternative online MFA checks are not required. 

It also sets out that a telco is required to provide a simple means for its customers to opt out of marketing. The PV also deals with a telco’s obligation to provide their customer with a call recording that is their customer’s personal information if it has retained it. 

Preliminary View – 15 March 2023

The TIO’s Preliminary View deals with CSG compensation. The TIO determined the provider should pay $4,524.50 in compensation. 

Preliminary View – 15 March 2023 (2)

The TIO’s Preliminary View deals with a consumer’s claim that she is entitled to a promotional offer that the provider did not apply because the consumer was late to finalise the order. The TIO decided the provider should compensate the consumer for the cost of the promotional item.

Preliminary View – 15 March 2023 (3)

The TIO’s Preliminary View deals with promissory estoppel under the law of equity. The consumer wanted to hold the provider to an ‘assumed state of affairs’. The TIO determined there was insufficient evidence to suggest the provider gave the impression of a specific state of affairs.

Preliminary View – 5 June 2023

The TIO’s Preliminary View deals with a provider’s obligation to take reasonable steps to protect a customer’s account from access, misuse and interference (APP 11.1.) In particular, it deals with compensation for a privacy breach after a SIM swap/scam. The TIO determined the consumer should be awarded $3,500 compensation. 

Preliminary View – 22 June 2023

The TIO’s Preliminary View deals with a telco’s obligations to assist a consumer who is in a position of financial hardship set out in Chapter 7 of the TCP Code. The telco did not comply with the obligations and the actions of the telco led to tangible and significant physical inconvenience and impact on the consumer’s peace of mind. The TIO awarded compensation of $1000 to the consumer.

Preliminary View - 13 July 2023

The TIO’s Preliminary View deals contracts the consumer said were fraudulently entered into under his name. The provider said it could not investigate the consumer’s complaint because the consumer would not participate in its process. 

The Preliminary View determined the provider should:

  • Waive the debt.
  • Close the account.

It also sets out the TIO’s process as independent from a provider’s internal process, so even though the TIO cannot consider a provider’s internal processes, it does not limit the way the TIO handles a complaint or how the TIO reaches its own fair and reasonable conclusion. 

Preliminary View – 14 July 2023

The TIO’s Preliminary View deals with the disconnection of an internet service and compensation for non-financial loss. The internet was disconnected for 5 days. The consumer said the disconnection and complaint process caused a loss of time, inconvenience and stress.

The preliminary view found the provider offer to waive the service charges for the period the service was disconnected and apply a credit of $75 for non-financial loss was fair and reasonable.

Preliminary View - 21 July 2023

The TIO’s Preliminary View deals with cancellation fees. The consumer sold the business and no longer needed the contract – the new business owner did not take ownership of the contracts.

The consumer wanted the provider to cancel the contracts and waive the contract cancellation fees. The consumer also wanted the provider to refund service fees already paid because the new business owners are paying less for telco services and so the consumer believes it was oversold.

The preliminary view found the provider is not required to take any action.

Preliminary View - 28 July 2023

The TIO’s Preliminary View deals with a contract for two mobile telephone services and devices that the consumer said they were not liable to pay for. The consumer said a friend had taken out the contracts. The provider said the consumer voluntarily entered the contracts herself and was likely scammed by her friend.

The TIO determined the provider should:

  • Cancel the contracts in dispute.
  • Waive the service fees relating to the contracts in dispute, which is approximately $880.
  • Invite the consumer to apply for assistance under its Financial Hardship policy to manage the remaining account balance of approximately $4,469.72.


Decision 20 May 2021

The TIO’s decision and direction on a complaint from the representative on behalf of the company about the provider. The company entered into a contract for services with the provider that included landline and internet services and also an agreement by the provider to pay up to $7,800 for early termination fees on the company’s telecommunications contract at the time. The TIO decided the provider must pay $7,800 to the company within 15 business days of the company accepting this decision

Decision 15 April 2021

The consumer complained that a debt collector sent them a bill for $7,123.50 from the provider for services they did not sign up for. The provider said that someone signed up for services and equipment using the consumer's identification details and they sent the equipment to the consumer’s address and the delivery was accepted, therefore it should be paid.

The TIO’s decided that the provider must waive all charges on the consumer’s account because the consumer did not enter into the contracts with the provider, the consumer did not authorise a third party to enter contracts in their name and it would not be fair to hold the consumer liable for the equipment.

Decision 30 March 2021

The TIO decided the provider must refund the consumer $1,908.49 because the provider should refund service charges for the period the service did not work, the consumer breached the contract by terminating it within the fixed term period and the provider should refund half of the early termination fee.

Case Studies

Case study 1 - Consumer’s preference on type of broadband technology

Case study 2 - A person does not meet our definition of ‘consumer’

Case Study 3 - Complaint against previous Telco

Case study 4 - Lack of cooperation by consumer

Case study 5 - The business was not able to use the TIO’s service as it was not a small business