Conroy invites discussion on TIO reform

Communications Minister is seeking input on how the TIO can handle complaints more effectively

Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has released a discussion paper pertaining to possible reforms for the complaints handling process by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

The TIO is an independent authority that investigates disputes between consumers and telcos over mobile or Internet services.

Last week, it was revealed the TIO had received a total of 87,264 complaints against telco operators. There was a 20 per cent surge in mobile service complaints with Vodafone contributing significantly to the figures.

“The recently released TIO statistics show complaints to the Ombudsman remain at very high levels and this is not acceptable,” Senator Conroy said in a statement. “While I acknowledge the hard work the TIO does to deliver consumers with quick and effective solutions, I want to ensure it has the appropriate tools to deal with complaints.”

He is pushing for industry, consumer and advocacy groups as well as members of the public to provide input for the TIO discussion paper. The report seeks views on how effective the TIO is resolving disputes between telco providers and customers.

The Federal Government expects options for TIO reforms will be put forward by the first half of this year.