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Case study: a small business with a big bill

16 March 2015

Pam's complaint

Pam called the TIO about more than $120,000 in charges she disputed with her provider. She and her husband ran a small business and had several mobile phones, tablets and wireless internet services for their employees. She told us they normally paid $2,500 to $3,000 per month.

Ever since they transferred all those services from another provider, their bills became irregular. The business received only one or two invoices per year, often in the tens of thousands of dollars. Pam told us she also had trouble getting some services cancelled, partly due to having to deal with several different case managers at the provider.

What we did

When we conciliated the complaint, Pam told us that she wanted the provider to:

  • waive the charges that had not been billed in a timely way
  • assign a permanent case manager to their account, and
  • consider a flexible payment plan for valid charges.

We told Pam she should continue to pay the amount the business would regularly pay per month and we raised the issue with the provider.


The provider confirmed in writing that it had waived $122,000 that had not been billed in more than 160 days, as required under the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code. At the time of resolution, the business had $27,000 in outstanding valid charges that had not been billed, and the provider set up a 12-month payment plan for Pam's business to pay. The provider also offered to meet with Pam at her nearest store to look at assigning a permanent case manager for the business.

Pam was happy with this resolution and we closed the case. 

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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