Making a phone or internet complaint? Are you speaking to your telco or a fee-charging service? | The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
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Making a phone or internet complaint? Are you speaking to your telco or a fee-charging service?

Consumer warning

A trend of complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has revealed a ‘question and answer service’ is asking consumers to pay to have their phone or internet complaint fixed.  

When trying to contact your telco, you may unintentionally end up speaking with a fee-charging ‘question and answer’ service

When contacting their telco through its website or online chat, some consumers told us they were asked for payment to respond to their query or complaint. Often, the consumer assumed they were exchanging messages with a representative from their telco.  

Based on our investigations, we believe these consumers most likely clicked on a website link to a paid ‘question and answer’ service. It can be easy to do this by accident. Links to such services may appear when you search online for a telco’s contact details.   

‘Question and answer’ services usually ask consumers to pay a one-off fee for a response to their query or complaint, as well an ongoing subscription fee. Consumers should be careful because the help offered by these services may not be tailored to their specific circumstances.

What should you do if you asked to pay a fee to make a complaint about your phone or internet problem?

Remember you never have to pay to lodge a complaint with your telco or with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

Consumer tips:

  • Make sure you are speaking to your telco provider and not an unrelated third party.
  • If in doubt about who you are speaking with, end the call or chat and try contacting your telco using a different method.
  • Never provide personal information or financial details if you are unsure of the identity of the person you are speaking with.
  • If you have contacted your telco provider and it has asked you to pay for a response to your query or complaint, please contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.