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Industry codes

Industry Codes are rules identified by the telecommunications industry as the benchmarks of best practice. The TIO is conferred the power to receive, conciliate and investigate the resolution of complaints and to report on complaints under a number of industry codes that have been formally registered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

During 2011-12, the industry codes most commonly considered by the TIO were the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code 2007 (TCP Code) and the Mobile Premium Services Code 2009 (MPS Code).

Confirmed code breaches in 2011-12

The TIO recorded 1,146 confirmed code breaches during 2011-12, a drop of 75 per cent from the previous financial year. A key reason for the decrease is that more TIO cases are being resolved via conciliation, and are not escalated to a TIO investigation, where the TIO investigates and records code breaches. This decrease may not necessarily reflect improved code compliance within the telecommunications industry.

The TIO recorded confirmed code breaches in relation to 62 different service providers during 2011-12. More than 85 per cent of these confirmed breaches related to only 10 service providers.

Of the 1,146 confirmed breaches recorded, 1,133 (98.87 per cent) relate to the TCP Code. Almost half the confirmed breaches concerned compliance with the complaint handling provisions of the TCP Code (548 confirmed breaches), while credit management related TCP Code provisions accounted for another 18 per cent (200 confirmed breaches). Billing chapter provisions of the TCP Code accounted for 13 per cent (147 confirmed breaches).

Confirmed TCP Code breaches - by chapter 

View as a graph 

TCP Code breaches by clause - top 5 issues

Clause

Descriptions

Confirmed Code Breaches

9.2.5

A provider must seek to resolve a complaint at first contact, and where this is not possible the complaint must be finalised within 30 days or as soon as practicable in all the circumstances.

144

3.2.1

The information that the provider gives to a consumer must be accurate, relevant, current and timely.

142

9.1.1(f)

Providers must record, action and monitor the undertakings they make to resolve consumer complaints.

142

9.1.1(d)

A provider must have adequate resources with the authority to resolve complaints and achieve outcomes.

115

6.4.1

Providers must both ensure and be able to verify and demonstrate that their billing is accurate.

86

View TCP code breaches by clause – top 5 issues

Possible code issues in 2011-12

In 2011-12, the TIO recorded 438,406 possible code issues. Possible code issues are instances where, based on the consumer’s account of a complaint, we identify that there may have been a breach of a code.

We recorded possible code issues in relation to 356 different service providers, but more than 94 per cent of those can be attributed to only 10 providers.

Of all possible code issues, 98 per cent concerned compliance with the TCP Code, most commonly related to the Billing and Complaint Handling chapters of the code.

Possible TCP code issues – by chapter

View as a graph

Possible TCP Code issues by clause - top 5 issues

Clause

Descriptions

Possible Code issues

3.2.1

The information that a provider gives to a consumer must be accurate, relevant, current and timely.

73,735

6.4.1

Providers must both ensure and be able to verify and demonstrate that their billing is accurate.

57,148

9.1.1(f)

Providers must record, action and monitor the undertakings they make to resolve consumer complaints.

44,394

6.4.2
Bills must contain enough information for a consumer to be able to verify that the charges are consistent with the agreed upon contracted prices and discounts.
24,352
6.3.2(e)
Bills issued by a provider must include a description of the charges and credits being billed, including third party charges.
21,559
View TCP possible code issues by clause – top 5 issues

Code data we capture

Confirmed breaches - a confirmed breach is identified during a formal investigation (levels 3 and 4 of our process). It is never recorded without giving the service provider a reasonable opportunity to respond with evidence and its own version of events. The TIO Officer assesses the service provider’s response and any other information in the complaint, before making a decision as to whether a particular code clause has been breached.

Possible code issues – these are generally recorded during Referral and Conciliation (levels 1 and 2), where the claims of the consumer indicate that a code compliance problem might exist.

Code data we capture

Confirmed breaches - a confirmed breach is identified during a formal investigation (levels 3 and 4 of our process). It is never recorded without giving the service provider a reasonable opportunity to respond with evidence and its own version of events. The TIO Officer assesses the service provider’s response and any other information in the complaint, before making a decision as to whether a particular code clause has been breached.

Possible code issues – these are generally recorded during Referral and Conciliation (levels 1 and 2), where the claims of the consumer indicate that a code compliance problem might exist.