TIO report responds to consumer concerns

CFA Member ACCAN today welcome  the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) Review report released by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, on 4 May 2012.

“ACCAN is pleased that the important work that the TIO does for the community has been acknowledged in this report, along with a number of recommendations that will result in better outcomes for consumers, such as addressing systemic issues faster, and strategies to ensure more Australians are aware of the TIO’s services.” said spokesperson Elise Davidson.

“We are pleased with the move to strengthen the TIO’s independence through a unified governance structure that includes equal representation from industry and consumer representatives with an independent chair.”

Senator Conroy said the report was the result of extensive consultation between the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, a wide range of industry stakeholders, consumer interest groups, and the broader community.

“The telecommunications environment has changed substantially over the past 20 years.It is essential that the TIO can continue to provide high-quality dispute resolution services, especially as Australians increasingly make use of new technologies and services.”

The report provides several recommendations that reflect the important role the TIO performs and the expected standards of its operation.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • new incentives to encourage participants in the telecommunications industry to comply with the TIO scheme
  • an improved governance structure to strike a better balance between consumer and industry interests
  • improvements to assist the TIO to quickly identify and respond to problems affecting groups of consumers
  • improved reporting requirements to more clearly demonstrate the TIO’s performance in resolving complaints
  • improvements to the TIO’s policy for escalating complaints to help ensure complaints are resolved faster.

“These recommendations will make the TIO more effective, more transparent, and more in touch with the expectations of the Australian people.”

“The report complements the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) Reconnecting the Customer Inquiry and the Communications Alliance’s review of the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code, which is under consideration by the ACMA,” Senator Conroy said.