Following consultation with service providers, the TIO has changed its verbal referral process. From 17 February 2014, the TIO will "warm transfer" the consumer to their service provider's complaint resolution team in certain limited circumstances. The TIO will no longer provide telephone numbers for Member complaint resolution departments to consumers unless it is requested by the consumer.
Circumstances in which the TIO will offer to warm transfer the consumer through to their provider's complaint resolution department include, but are not limited to, where the consumer is:
- calling from a payphone and will be difficult to contact
- calling from a neighbour's or borrowed telephone
- without an email or physical address, or
- calling from a prison.
The new process
When the TIO officer identifies that a consumer should be directly transferred to the service provider's complaint resolution department, the officer will make an outbound call to the service provider. They will then stay on the line until the call is answered by a service provider representative.
The TIO officer will introduce themselves and the consumer and will advise the member representative why they need to transfer the consumer directly. The TIO officer will then complete the transfer.
If the TIO officer is on hold when they call the service provider, they will wait for the call to be answered for two minutes. If it is not answered by a member representative after two minutes, the TIO officer will not continue to attempt the warm transfer. We will provide the direct contact number for the complaint resolution department to the consumer. The consumer will be encouraged to call this number to speak to the service provider directly.
The TIO will continue to notify service providers of complaints via email, including those that go through this warm transfer referral process.