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What we can help with

Video: What the TIO can help with

When Esme’s landline phone stops working, she asks the TIO for help. What phone and internet problems can the TIO help with?

What we can (and can’t) help with

We can help to resolve most complaints, but not all. We can only help people with complaints that fall within our area of responsibility. 

We deal with complaints from individual and small business consumers and from owners and occupiers of property. Our page Who we can help provides more information.

Examples of complaints

Landline, mobile, and internet services

We can help with:

  • contracts
  • connecting or transferring services
  • SIM unlocking fees
  • faults, dropouts and poor coverage
  • mass service disruptions
  • billing mistakes
  • billing and supply of mobile premium services
  • debt collection
  • National Broadband Network (NBN) services
  • some issues with ‘bundled’ services
  • missed technician appointments
  • some issues involving financial hardship
  • Telstra landline not being available to you
  • equipment supplied by a telco (including repair, maintenance, and technical support) 
  • loss of a phone number or email account 
  • failure to comply with a relevant code or guideline 

But we can’t help with:

  • what services a telco does or doesn’t offer
  • ADSL or NBN services not being available to you because there is no infrastructure (unless you are asking for a Telstra landline)
  • the rates a telco charges
  • the content of services including smartphone applications, premium services, all internet sites and TV
  • anti-competitive business practices

Payphones, phone cards, TV, domain names, public mobile radio, White and Yellow pages, operator services, and directory assistance

We can help with:

  • some payphone issues
  • operator services
  • phone cards
  • internet Pay TV
  • public mobile radio network
  • White Pages listings
  • directory assistance  

But we can’t help with:

  • the number of payphones or where they are
  • technical problems with your TV
  • website domain names
  • Yellow Pages and other business directories

Land and property

We can help with:

  • carriers using your land 
  • property damage (including disputes over liability for costs associated with repairing, restoring, or replacing property) 
  • a bill or debt claimed by a telco against you in relation to your property 
  • unsafe or non-compliant carrier infrastructure on your land 

But we can’t help with:

  • complaints from contractors, unless they occupy or own the property

Spam and telemarketing

We can help with:

  • spam and telemarketing from your telco

But we can’t help with:

  • telemarketing and spam from a third party
  • the Do Not Call Register


We can help with:

  • Some compensation claims for financial loss, including for loss of small business profits 
  • some compensation claims for non-financial loss 

But we can’t help with:

  • claims for non-financial loss (other than those about privacy) that exceed $1,500 


We can help with:

  • a telco or its representative interfering with your privacy 

But we can’t help with:

  • a telco monitoring calls for training purposes, to record verbal contracts, as part of network maintenance, or to protect a network from improper use

Complaints involving money

We can only make binding decisions about complaints involving amounts up to $100,000. 

If your dispute is about larger amounts, you may wish to speak to a lawyer.

Old and new complaints

Your complaint should be about a problem that occurred within the last two years, or that you became aware of in the last two years.  

We may still be able to help with complaints that are up to six years old, depending on the reason for the delay.

Contact us if you’re unsure if we can help.

Ready to make a complaint? 

If you’ve already attempted to resolve your complaint directly with the telco and you believe we can help, start your complaint online now.

Or call us on 1800 062 058

If you still aren’t sure if we can deal with your complaint, contact us. If we can’t help, we’ll refer to another organisation who can.