ACMA directs telco to play by the rules and refund customer | ACMA

ACMA directs telco to play by the rules and refund customer

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has directed Digital Technologies & Telecommunications Pty Ltd (trading as Airlan) to comply with a Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) decision to refund a former customer $660.

The TIO scheme is an important consumer safeguard to ensure confidence in the provision of communications services in Australia. While the overwhelming number of providers respect the decisions of the independent umpire, the ACMA takes it extremely seriously when a provider doesn’t play by the rules,’ said ACMA acting Chairman, Richard Bean. 

The Ombudsman referred Airlan to the ACMA in October for not complying with a determination to refund a former Airlan customer $660. The ACMA commenced an investigation into Airlan’s compliance with the scheme after repeated attempts by the TIO to persuade Airlan to obey the determination. Airlan has until 24 April 2017 to request a reconsideration of the ACMA’s decision.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is an independent dispute resolution service for small business and residential customers who have a complaint about their telephone or internet service in Australia. It is mandatory for telcos who offers services to small business and residential customers to join the TIO scheme.

For more information please see the backgrounder below or contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or

Media release 12/2017 - 5 April


Part 6 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 requires carriers and eligible carriage service providers to enter into the TIO scheme to provide a dispute resolution service for complaints about telecommunications services.

Where a consumer or small business customer has a complaint, they should first contact the service provider that provides the service. Service providers are required to provide information to consumers on how they can make a complaint. Complaint handling processes must be accessible to all customers, including people with disabilities and those from non-English speaking backgrounds.

If a consumer or small business is dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint, the service provider must advise them of their further options. Where appropriate, consumers and small businesses are entitled to escalate their complaint with the provider, and if they are still dissatisfied they can contact the TIO.

The scheme allows the TIO to investigate, make determinations and give directions that providers must act upon relating to complaints made by end-users about the provision or supply of telephone or internet services.

Members of the TIO scheme must comply with the scheme, which includes complying with TIO decisions where a customer has advised the TIO that they accept that decision. A list of TIO determinations can be found here.

Last updated: 04 April 2017