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New first contact referral process

03 September 2013

From 1 October 2013, the TIO will refer consumers who have not yet contacted you about their complaint to your nominated TIO complaint referral point.


The new process, called the first contact referral process replaces two TIO processes:

  • Attempted First Contact process

    Currently, under this process, consumers who claim they have tried unsuccessfully to contact you about a complaint are referred to your nominated complaint referral point. These referrals are classified as Enquiries and there is no direct charge to you.

  • First Resort process

    Currently, under this process, consumers who contact us before they have attempted to contact you are referred to your normal, publicly available customer service number. These referrals are classified as Enquiries and there is no direct charge to you.

What is changing?

The first contact referral process improves our service by directing consumers in both cases to the point in your business best equipped to handle the issue. We have a new first contact referral email template, which sets out the details, reference number issued to the consumer and our expectation that you will contact the consumer and resolve the issue within 15 business days.

In both cases, if the consumer returns to the TIO to say they have made contact with you but the matter remains unresolved, we will initiate the conciliation process. It is important to understand that failure to act a first contact referral may result in a conciliation (Level 2) charge.

Why the change?

We are making this change in response to feedback from TIO Members.  The change will increase our level of service to providers and consumers by putting you in touch more quickly. It makes good sense to refer consumers who have yet to have a meaningful discussion with you about their complaint to a single point of referral at your business. Benefits include:

  • reducing confusion
  • reducing the potential for consumers to feel that they are being given the run around, and
  • TIO members will not incur a direct cost for this type of referral.

Billing dispute and suspended service

Case Study Small Business

A small business had their internet services deactivated due to a misunderstanding on billing.

Next step?              

  • make an online complaint
  • 1800 062 058                
  • Write PO Box 276
    Collins Street West Vic 8007                            
  • National Relay Service Call on 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 062 058            
  • Fax our consumer complaint form to 1800 630 614