Friday, November 19, 2010

Troubles at the TIO

I noted in a recent opinion piece on the TIO that there is disquiet with the scheme from both industry and consumers.

In particular I noted concern that the scheme had been registering complaints from customers who had not previously sought to resolve the matter with the provider.

News today that one provider is suing the TIO in the Federal Court on this and other matters. The article suggests there are 260 complaints covered in the case but only details;

Exetel disputes about 30 first-level complaints ''where the [TIO] ought not to have recorded a complaint because no complaint had been previously made to the applicant'', and 86 complaints where it was not given the full 28 days to respond. A further seven were allegedly related to the customer's own equipment and four were not related to Exetel's services. (by my count 127 - but this may be the issue not complaint count).

The interesting thing about the action is that the entity being sued is not the Ombudsman as in the person, but the TIO scheme itself. The Board is the entity that has to respond to these charges - yet the Board composition suggests that the Board must be aware of the concerns that have been expressed by service providers.

I need to go get a copy of the statement of claim to understand this better. I don't follow the reference in the article that "Exetel claims the TIO breached its obligations under the Telecommunications Act and its duty of care to Exetel as a member of its dispute resolution service." The case is actually listed in the Fedreal Court as being about misleading and deceptive conduct (i.e. s52 of the TPA).

There is a touch more information in an earlier report in CIO magazine. This was written at the time when the claim had been given to the TIO prior to filing. It asserts that the TIO has been in dispute with the member for nine months.

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

No comments: