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Awareness of TIO

In 2011-12, we raised awareness of our services among consumers through our publications, a new website and the TIO’s first ever online annual report.

Resilient Consumers

In August 2011 we launched the Resilient Consumers report, which highlighted the repeated and time consuming attempts of consumers to try to resolve problems with their service providers. The report highlighted the need for simpler complaint processes, better training for customer service staff, and proper records of complaints and resolutions agreed to. The reportreceived extensive media coverage, with a potential cumulative national audience of 10.5 million.

TIO Talks

We published three editions of our consumer and stakeholder publication, TIO Talks. Launched in December 2011, February 2012 and June 2012, TIO Talks featured stories on our research on trends and systemic issues in the telecommunications industry, the kinds of issues consumers can make a complaint about and our work in the community.

Some of the topics we highlighted include:

Small businesses and the TIO. We outlined the results of our research into the increasing numbers, issues and complexity of small business complaints, which led us to redefine our criteria for what constitutes a small businesses for a more flexible approach. The information was widely reported, increasing awareness about our service among this important section of the Australian economy.

Misleading telemarketing practices. We brought attention to our systemic investigations into misleading telemarketing practices. A number of telcos have engaged in a practice where they contact consumers implying that they are calling from the consumers’ existing providers and mislead them into agreeing to transfer their services. We explained consumers’ rights if they had been affected, our work with providers to prevent this issue from continuing, and provided advice for consumers in case they receive one of such telemarketing calls

A new vision for TIO. We discussed expanding our Vision and Roles beyond dispute resolution to include contributing to improvements in customer service and complaint handling in the telecommunications industry. The change was the first step of a wider strategic planning for the TIO.

First online annual report

Last year’s annual report, published in November 2011, was the TIO’s first as a micro-website. The use of a micro-website substantially increased the accessibility of online annual report information, and reduced the environmental impacts associated with substantial numbers of paper copies.

The report showed that 2010-11 was the busiest year on record for the TIO, with 197,682 new complaints received. We highlighted emerging trends associated with credit management and the increasing use of smartphones. The annual report launch was the most widely covered since the TIO’s inception in 1993. It is estimated that the coverage of the launch reached a potential cumulative audience of 16.2 million people via 300 news items.

Many ways to contact us

The TIO tries to make sure that our services are accessible to all Australians by offering a multitude of ways to contact us. Consumers can contact us by phone, email, fax, letter, in person or through our online complaint form.

In 2011-12 we made ourselves even more accessible by working together with the National Relay Service to make it easy for people who are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment to contact us. Our staff received deafness awareness training to better understand and respond to the needs of those consumers.

We also continue to offer information in 31 languages other than English and free access to interpreters and translators to any consumer that may need them.

Contact us

Many ways to contact us

The TIO tries to make sure that our services are accessible to all Australians by offering a multitude of ways to contact us. Consumers can contact us by phone, email, fax, letter, in person or through our online complaint form.

In 2011-12 we made ourselves even more accessible by working together with the National Relay Service to make it easy for people who are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment to contact us. Our staff received deafness awareness training to better understand and respond to the needs of those consumers.

We also continue to offer information in 31 languages other than English and free access to interpreters and translators to any consumer that may need them.

Contact us