Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman: 2013 - 2014 Annual Report
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What is a confirmed code breach?

We record a code breach when a complaint has been formally investigated and the provider has had the chance to respond with evidence and its own version of events. The provider is informed in writing of our decision before we report it to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

What is a possible code issue?

Possible code issues are based on the consumer’s version of events, and are recorded during our first contact or conciliation.

Industry codes

The main industry code we use to consider complaints is the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code. In 2012-13 we used two versions of that Code:

  • the 2007 Code, for complaints before September 2012, and
  • the 2012 Code, which came into force on 1 September 2012.

Due to this change, we have chosen to not compare code data with the previous financial year.

Confirmed code breaches in 2012-13

When we investigate a complaint, we consider if relevant codes have been complied with. We recorded 279 confirmed code breaches in 2012-13. Almost all of these were breaches of the TCP Code. Almost three quarters of these were breaches of the 2007 Code. This is because the issues that made the consumers call the TIO happened before the introduction of the new code.

Common breaches of the TCP Code included providers’ failure to:

  • act on promises made to resolve a consumer’s complaint
  • give consumers accurate, relevant and timely information, and
  • bill accurately.

Confirmed TCP Code breaches by topic

TopicNumber%
Complaint handling10337
Credit management6423
General rules4818
Billing4015
Changing suppliers114
Advertising, sales and contracts93
View Confirmed TCP Code breaches by topic

Possible code issues 

For each new complaint, we record the possible code issues the consumer’s version raises. We recorded 384,537 possible code issues in 2012-13. More than 98 per cent of these were about the TCP Code - 73 per cent from the 2012 Code and 25.5 per cent from the 2007 Code.

The main issues raised by consumers included:

  • billing accuracy and clarity
  • the quality and timeliness of information, and
  • not acting on promises made to resolve consumer complaints.

Possible TCP Code issues by topic

TopicNumber%
Billing130,02234
Complaint Handling69,36718
Credit Management62,58017
General Rules54,16114
Advertising, Sales and Contracts52,60814
Changing Suppliers9,9983
View Possible TCP Code issues by topic

What is a confirmed code breach?

We record a code breach when a complaint has been formally investigated and the provider has had the chance to respond with evidence and its own version of events. The provider is informed in writing of our decision before we report it to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

What is a possible code issue?

Possible code issues are based on the consumer’s version of events, and are recorded during our first contact or conciliation.