Uncontactable telcos, poor internet quality and financial hardship – some of the challenges raised at the latest TIO Consumer Panel meeting
The TIO's Consumer Panel met (virtually) for the second time last week. The meeting provided a timely opportunity to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on complaints, and share knowledge about issues arising from the TIO's work and the work of Panel members.
The TIO updated Panel members on their work since the last Consumer Panel meeting. This included the Annual Report and the Ombudsman’s recent appearance at the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into the NBN.
Panel members raised a range of issues they see impacting the consumers they represent during COVID-19. Common issues shared by Panel members included:
- Consumers’ inability to contact providers
- Unstable internet connections
- Access to financial hardship support and affordability of telecommunications services.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) provided the Panel with an overview of ASIC’s Indigenous Outreach Program. The learnings from this experience were useful for the TIO and for Panel members, as all continue to improve accessibility of services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The Consumer Panel will meet again early next year.