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TIO Consumer panel

Affordability, mis-selling and financial hardship: key focusses of the TIO Consumer Panel

On Wednesday 13 July, the TIO hosted its Consumer Panel, with representatives from consumer advocacy groups across Australia.

We had robust discussions on a range of consumer issues about affordability, including misselling, financial overcommitment and financial hardship. Consumer Panel Members told us about the impacts to small businesses as financial grace periods start to lift and prices increase. Consumer Panel Members also told us about the important role telco services can play in assisting victims of family violence, such as being able to attend online court hearings, and the importance of financial hardship processes to keep consumers connected.

The TIO sought feedback on accessibility, particularly with how we take webform form complaints and how consumers can elect representatives. Consumer Panel Members told us about the difficulties people with disabilities, or people living in remote communities, can face when trying to complete paperwork to nominate representatives.

The TIO updated the Consumer Panel Members on our 5-yearly Independent Review, our expanded approach to device and equipment complaints, and our new jurisdiction to award compensation for non-financial loss (non-privacy). Consumer Panel Members were interested to see how we handle device and equipment complaints, and compensation for non-financial loss into the future.

The TIO Consumer Panel continually presents us with the opportunity to listen to consumer experiences and reflect on how we can improve our service, while ensuring we remain a fair, efficient and independent external dispute resolution service for the telco industry.

Currently, our Consumer Panel Members include representatives from:

  • Financial Counselling Australia – Lynda Edwards is the Panel’s Co-Chair
  • Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)
  • Blind Citizens Australia
  • Consumer Action Law Centre
  • COTA Australia
  • Council of Small Business Organisations (Australia)
  • Financial Counsellors Association of WA (FCAWA)
  • Isolated Children's Parents Association of Australia
  • Legal Aid NSW
  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • The Regional Tech Hub