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Strategic planning

The TIO began a comprehensive strategy planning process in the second half of 2011.

This process included extensive staff consultations, and close consideration of the views of stakeholders about what will be important to ensure the TIO is successful in coming years. We canvassed what the vision, roles and values of the TIO should be to allow us to adapt to the substantial changes in the telecommunications industry, regulation and consumer demand for our services.

The new vision, roles and three year strategy were announced in June 2012, and an organisational restructure is underway to align all TIO business units with our new strategies.

Our new vision

Our vision is to deliver an exceptional telecommunications dispute resolution service for consumers, service providers and the Australian community. We aim to contribute to better customer service and complaint handling within the telecommunications industry.

Our roles

The TIO plays four main roles in the Australian telecommunications industry:

Resolving disputes:
the TIO’s first and primary role is to provide a dispute resolution service that is accessible, independent, fair, efficient, responsive and effective.the TIO’s first and primary role is to provide a dispute resolution service that is accessible, independent, fair, efficient, responsive and effective.
Improving telecommunications services:
the TIO assists telecommunications service providers and their industry to improve their services to consumers, through identifying systemic issues and engaging with industry representatives.
Being an independent voice:
the TIO is an independent and expert voice about matters affecting telecommunications consumers. We provide information and analysis to government and industry, and reach out to the community.
Leading by example:
the TIO is innovative, adaptable, collaborative, responsive, resilient and forward thinking. We value very highly the work of our people and support their ongoing knowledge and skill development.

Leigh’s complaint

Leigh's complaint

Leigh contacted us about a problem cancelling a wireless internet account.

Leigh was unhappy with his internet provider as he had received a high bill for excess data usage. He had made a complaint to the provider and managed to have a $900 bill reduced to an amount that he considered more reasonable. He told us that, after he paid that the reduced amount, he requested to have the service cancelled, which the provider agreed to, asking him to return the USB stick “if he could”. He stated that this made him believe that he didn’t have to send the USB stick back, and he contracted a service with another provider.

Several months later he noticed that his account was being direct debited by the provider. He contacted them and they said that the reason he was still being billed was because his service hadn’t been cancelled, which he disputed and was unable to resolve.

After our initial referral of the complaint, the provider told Leigh they would continue to bill him because he hadn’t returned the USB stick, filled a cancellation order form which was sent to him or paid an early termination fee. Leigh was dissatisfied with this outcome because, as he told us, the provider hadn’t sent a cancellation form or expressly asked him to return the USB stick.

During conciliation, Leigh and the provider were unable to agree about the cancellation. The provider claimed they had told Leigh there would be an early termination fee, and that he needed to return the USB stick and fill out a cancellation order, whereas Leigh claimed he hadn’t been told this.

To clarify the situation, we asked the provider to send information that supported their claim. They sent through a voice recording that showed that Leigh had been clearly advised of the steps he needed to take to cancel his service, which included returning the USB and the form, as well as paying an early termination fee of $150. The recording also showed that Leigh had agreed to these steps.

As a way of resolving the complaint, the provider offered to settle for the charges it had been direct debiting Leigh since his initial cancellation request – $140 – in lieu of an early termination fee. Given the circumstances, we believed this was a reasonable resolution. Leigh accepted the resolution and we finalised the complaint.

Leigh’s complaint

Leigh's complaint

Leigh contacted us about a problem cancelling a wireless internet account.

Leigh was unhappy with his internet provider as he had received a high bill for excess data usage. He had made a complaint to the provider and managed to have a $900 bill reduced to an amount that he considered more reasonable. He told us that, after he paid that the reduced amount, he requested to have the service cancelled, which the provider agreed to, asking him to return the USB stick “if he could”. He stated that this made him believe that he didn’t have to send the USB stick back, and he contracted a service with another provider.

Several months later he noticed that his account was being direct debited by the provider. He contacted them and they said that the reason he was still being billed was because his service hadn’t been cancelled, which he disputed and was unable to resolve.

After our initial referral of the complaint, the provider told Leigh they would continue to bill him because he hadn’t returned the USB stick, filled a cancellation order form which was sent to him or paid an early termination fee. Leigh was dissatisfied with this outcome because, as he told us, the provider hadn’t sent a cancellation form or expressly asked him to return the USB stick.

During conciliation, Leigh and the provider were unable to agree about the cancellation. The provider claimed they had told Leigh there would be an early termination fee, and that he needed to return the USB stick and fill out a cancellation order, whereas Leigh claimed he hadn’t been told this.

To clarify the situation, we asked the provider to send information that supported their claim. They sent through a voice recording that showed that Leigh had been clearly advised of the steps he needed to take to cancel his service, which included returning the USB and the form, as well as paying an early termination fee of $150. The recording also showed that Leigh had agreed to these steps.

As a way of resolving the complaint, the provider offered to settle for the charges it had been direct debiting Leigh since his initial cancellation request – $140 – in lieu of an early termination fee. Given the circumstances, we believed this was a reasonable resolution. Leigh accepted the resolution and we finalised the complaint.