Thursday, 19 March 2020 10:35

TIO continues to receive phone, Internet complaints as COVID-19 forces home working Featured

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There’s no letup in the work of the telecommunications consumer protection agency, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, despite the coronavirus crisis forcing its own workers to work from home like millions of other Australians.

The TIO says it is continuing to receive unresolved phone and Internet complaints in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with its own employees transitioning to working from home.

The TIO announced activation of its business continuity plan on Thursday with Ombudsman Judi Jones saying the regulator recognised and acknowledge “that remaining connected through phone and Internet services at this time is more critical than ever”.

“We are in regular contact with our members to understand their pandemic related customer service challenges, and working with them to understand how best to ensure consumers remain connected.

“First and foremost, our priority is protecting the health and wellbeing of our people. Ensuring the safety of our people also means we will be able to continue our important dispute resolution work,” Jones said.

“While we are adjusting to our new work environment and ensuring our systems are working, we ask consumers to lodge their complaint, or update an existing complaint, via our online form at https://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint. If you do not have access to the Internet to lodge your complaint online you can call us.

“We anticipate longer than usual wait times for responses to complaints. Please know we are doing our best to get back to consumers and help with unresolved phone and Internet complaints.”

Jones said the TIO’s advice remains the same.

“Residential consumers and small businesses first need to try to resolve their complaint with their phone or Internet provider. If the complaint remains unresolved the residential consumer or small business can make a complaint with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, we’re here to help.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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