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Update: The TIO’s process for joining Providers to a complaint

On 1 January 2022, the TIO’s new Terms of Reference went live – including our new ability to join providers to a complaint. Following careful consideration of feedback from stakeholders, the project to implement the TIO’s joining process is underway.

The new process is expected to go live on 1 July 2023, and we will have another update about joinder criteria in early 2023. Key features already locked in include:

  • The TIO decides when providers are joined and will consider joinder requests from parties to the original complaint
  • Providers can be joined at any stage of complaint handling, provided the criteria are met
  • Providers will be able to seek reclassification of a complaint where they were joined, but not based on which member was at fault
  • Providers joined to a complaint will be charged an equal case fee to the original provider the complaint was made against
  • There will be separate public reporting for complaints where a provider has been joined – this preserves year-on-year comparability and ensures we can make it clear that being joined to a complaint does not indicate fault.

Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert said, “This is a really important update to our terms of reference, because it makes it easier and more efficient to find a resolution to a complaint. It will improve both our complaint handling processes, and those processes for providers. Joining providers where appropriate will help consumers reach better outcomes.”

By early 2023, we will finalise our approach to complaint handling in joinder matters, and the criteria for joinder.