Contributing to the coregulatory environment

Submissions to regulators

The TIO regularly makes submissions to regulators and other agencies about trends in dispute resolution within the telecommunications industry. Through our submissions, we also provide information to regulators and the public about who the TIO is and what we do. Our submissions include complaint statistics, statistics about code compliance and relevant case studies.

Submissions focus on the ways in which issues, legislation or codes of practice can and do affect telecommunications consumers. We also provide data to regulators, which may identify systemic issues, industry trends over time or may focus on specific issues of interest.

In 2010-11 we made 20 public submissions. The most comprehensive was in response to the Australian Communication and Media Authority’s (ACMA) Reconnecting the Customer consultation paper. We provided a range of statistics and case studies to identify key themes in customer service and complaint handling issues in the telecommunications industry. We also made an extensive submission to the related review of the TIO by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE). Other important themes in submissions over the past year have included consumer protection, regulatory reform and convergence.

Highlights

September 2010.

Reconnecting the Customer. TIO's submission to the ACMA's public inquiry into customer service in the telecommunications industry.

We identified trends in complaint and issue data over a four-year period using statistics and case studies to illustrate the key stages of the consumer-service provider relationship. We highlighted improvements that the telecommunications industry could make in customer service and complaint handling. We also discussed the systemic issues we had investigated over the previous 18 months. Finally, we reflected on the role of the TIO as an external dispute resolution scheme, historically and looking to the future.

December 2010.

Numbering Plan (Consultation Paper 1). TIO's comments on the first consultation paper about the structure of Australia's telephone numbering plan.

This TIO submission to the ACMA primarily focused on the potential impact to consumers of the proposed changes to Australia's telephone numbering plan. We provided an overview of TIO complaint data (longitudinal statistics and case studies) relevant to the allocation of numbers. We noted our concerns about the Integrated Public Number Database, geographical numbering and 1300/1800 number routing, accuracy and charging. We noted the need for consumer awareness about revisions to the Numbering Plan to minimise consumer detriment. We also provided suggestions for consideration by the ACMA about its future work program for the Numbering Plan.

April 2011.

Discussion paper on TIO Scheme. Submission to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy on its discussion paper examining opportunities to reform the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) scheme.

We provided an overview of our role, including our functions and powers, our governance structure, funding model and consumer base. We discussed consumer satisfaction with our service. We outlined changes to how we report our statistics to regulators and in our annual report, TIO Talks, and public Determinations. We also detailed our recent initiatives to increase our efficiency, such as recruitment, staff training, increasing our capacity to investigate systemic issues and other activities. Overall, our focus was on identifying the ways in which we work to meet the needs of telecommunications consumers and service providers.


Related links

List of public submissions made by the TIO