Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman: 2013 - 2014 Annual Report
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Karen's complaint

Karen for case study

Karen called us about a problem with a payment arrangement for her landline and internet.

What the consumer told us

Karen arranged a payment plan of $50 per week to pay off a $300 debt. Shortly after, she received a text message from her provider that said she had to pay $200 or her services would be disconnected.

She told us she had called her provider to request an extension but the provider refused because she had missed some payments. Karen had an infant at home with medical issues and needed a landline.

What we did

We referred Karen back to the provider for another chance at resolution. She was willing to pay $100 towards the debt and $50 per week after that.

Karen returned to us because the provider did not accept her offer and her services were disconnected.

When we conciliated the complaint, the provider reconnected Karen’s services. Given her circumstances, it also offered to reduce the outstanding balance to zero.

Despite this, Karen’s services were cancelled twice more and she received more payment demands.

How the complaint was resolved

After we contacted the provider again, it told us that it had disconnected Karen’s services in error. It reconnected Karen and moved her to a plan that would reduce her chances of accruing charges she could not afford.