TIO boasts strong powers in FY2013

Summary:E-health records and the carbon tax won't be the only changes from 1 July, as the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) will also get stronger powers to punish misbehaving telcos.

E-health records and the carbon tax won't be the only changes from 1 July, as the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) will also get stronger powers to punish misbehaving telcos.

From 1 July, the TIO will be able to force telcos to pay customers up to $50,000 in compensation for a complaint that has been brought to the ombudsman by an unhappy customer, an additional $20,000 on what the TIO was able to issue before. The ombudsman will also be able to recommend that compensations of up to $100,000 be imposed.

TIO Simon Cohen said that this change means that the TIO can take on bigger cases.

"The adjustment to our monetary limits means that consumers who previously had disputes too large for us to deal with, will now have access to our fast, free and independent service," Cohen said in a statement.

The TIO will now also be able to intervene on issues between telcos and small businesses that have an annual turnover of less than $3 million and up to 20 employees.

A report released in May recommended even stronger powers for the TIO, including the ability to name and shame telcos who have not complied with the TIO scheme. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has yet to announce whether the government intends to implement any of these recommendations.

Topics: Telcos

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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