Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman: 2013 - 2014 Annual Report
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Systemic case study

Prepaid marketing and activation

A provider aligned the advertised cost of their prepaid services to their recharge options after informal discussions with our Industry Improvement team.

Read full case study

Ombudsman decisions

The Ombudsman has the power to make binding determinations for unresolved complaints, land access objections and issue interim directions to stop a provider from trying to collect a disputed debt.

In 2012-13 the Ombudsman made:

  • one determination
  • seven decisions over land access objections, and
  • two interim directions.

Determination

The Ombudsman directed one provider to refund almost $1,800 for mobile internet charges after finding that the method for charging was inconsistent with the service contract.

The provider did not comply with the determination and we referred the issue to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). After intervention from the ACMA, the provider refunded the charges.

Interim directions

Two interim directions were issued to providers that tried to collect disputed debts from consumers who had made a complaint to the TIO:

  1. We directed a provider to refund more than $600 it direct debited from a consumer who made a complaint about those charges. The provider complied with the direction.
  2. We directed a provider to stop suspending and blocking a service, and threatening legal action for almost $180 disputed by a consumer. The provider complied with the direction.  

Land access objections

The Ombudsman decided that no directions to service providers were needed in seven land access objections we received in 2012-13.

The objections were made about providers proposing to:

  • install equipment in large buildings
  • install fibre optic cable, and
  • upgrade mobile phone towers.

Systemic case study

Prepaid marketing and activation

A provider aligned the advertised cost of their prepaid services to their recharge options after informal discussions with our Industry Improvement team.

Read full case study