About us

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is an industry-based Ombudsman, fully funded by industry fees and charges. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is not “owned by industry”:

  • The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is a not for profit company limited by guarantee and members of the scheme are not shareholders
  • Members do not receive payments or profits (for example by way of dividends)
  • Membership is compulsory and is required by legislation
  • Failure to comply with the requirements of the scheme can result in regulatory enforcement action (by ACMA)

The structure of the Board is aligned with best practice complaint handling mechanisms in Australia and globally, which are predominantly membership organisations funded by industry with a Board made up of consumer, industry, and independent representatives.

The Board of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is comprised of three directors with industry experience, three with consumer experience, and three independent directors. This means industry directors on the Board are in a minority, which is in line with the Government’s Benchmarks for Industry-Based Customer Dispute resolution, and with other industry Ombudsman schemes in Australia and internationally.

The Chair of the Board is required to be an independent director.  The Board is required to seek the view of the Minister for Communications and the Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs, and to consider their views, before appointing the Chair.

Our Powers

We are able to handle complaints about telephone and internet services, including by collecting any documents or information relevant to the complaint. We have the authority to decide the resolution of a complaint (the telecommunications company is legally obliged to implement) up to $50,000, and make recommendations up to $100,000.

Structure and Governance

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Ltd was established in 1993 under legislation and is independent of industry, the government and consumer organisations.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is governed by a Board of Directors, and is managed by an independent Ombudsman in accordance with the Company Constitution and Terms of Reference.

Our organisation chart details our current business structure. 

FACT SHEET - Overview of Board and Member decision making. 

Memorandum of Understanding with ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) have a Memorandum of Understanding about referrals and the exchange of information between the two organisations.

Read a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (PDF, 2.5MB)