Customer Complaints Policy Summary
The company is dedicated to providing excellent customer service and maintaining a healthy customer relationship at all levels from CEO down. We have a Complaints Policy to ensure all complaints are handled as efficiently and effectively as possible.
As a customer of ours, you are entitled to make a complaint to us. The following outlines our policy and procedures for the handling of verbal and written complaints.
We want to resolve your complaints as soon as possible. Please call our customer service and we’ll do our best to fix any problems you may be having with our service, as soon as possible.
- To provide an efficient, fair and structured mechanism for handling complaints.
- To provide our customers with access to the complaints handling process, including those customers with disabilities and special needs.
- To keep customers informed as to the progress of their complaint and the expected timeframe for resolution.
- Quarterly to review our complaints so that we can improve our standard of customer service.
Handling Your Complaint:
- Upon receiving a complaint, we will acknowledge your matter via telephone or in writing within 2 business days.
- If your complaint is urgent, such as where you have been accepted by us as undergoing financial hardship under our financial hardship policy, where your service is about to be disconnected, or where you are receiving Priority Assistance (for example, for medical reasons) we will prioritise your complaint and attempt to resolve it within 2 working days. If we cannot, we will explain why and the reasons for taking longer.
- We will keep you informed of the progress of your complaint, proposed actions and the expected timeframe for resolution.
- Our aim is to resolve complaints in a timely manner and we will generally resolve a matter within 30 calendar days.
- Complex complaints may take longer than 30 calendar days to resolve. In these cases, we will regularly update you on the progress and likely timeframe for resolution.
- We will advise you of the outcome of your complaint. Where you have requested us to do so, we will advise you in writing.
- We may impose a charge for handling your complaint in special circumstances. For example, we may charge you a fee where your complaint requires us to retrieve archived records that are more than 24 months old.
- Making a complaint should normally be free. If we think your complaint requires a charge, we will not impose one without discussion with you. If your complaint is upheld in your favour, and we have charged you complaint handling fees, we will refund you the full amount of the fees charged within 30 days.
If you have a complaint regarding any aspect of your account or dealings with The company, we urge you to telephone our Customer Service in the first instance. Our objective is to resolve the vast majority of enquiries or complaints during your first contact with us.
You will be charged at a local rate. If you prefer to put your complaint in writing, we will respond to your letter and will confirm any details in writing if you request us to do so.
If you like, you can appoint an authorised representative or an advocate to interact with us on your behalf. Please see our website for a procedure and form to appoint an authorised representative or advocate. When you discuss your complaint with us, we can assist you to clarify and formulate the complaint.
You can also make a complaint by using any of the other contact methods on our website, or please ask us if there is any other method you would like to use to send a complaint to us.
Complaints made to the company are overseen by our customer service management. After a complaint is made, if it is not immediately resolved, we may need to investigate it. This process may take 15 Business Days, or longer (in which case we will update you with a reason for the delay and the expected timeframe).
If you are not satisfied with the response tendered to you, you may ask Customer Service
Management to escalate your complaint to senior management directly. If so, we will try to make a senior management representative available to address the complaint as soon as possible (depending on availability).
When your complaint is resolved, we will confirm this with you within 10 business days.
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction by us, and depending on the nature of your complaint, you may refer your complaint to the following outside bodies:
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (“TIO”) is an alternative dispute resolution scheme for residential and small business consumers in respect of disputes. The TIO can assist you if you have been unable to resolve your complaint with your phone or internet company directly.
The TIO seeks the co-operation of BOTH parties through an alternative dispute resolution process to achieve an outcome that is fair and reasonable. To lodge a complaint with the TlO you can visit http://www.tio.com.au/ or call 1800 062 058.
What kind of complaints can the TIO deal with?
The TIO deals with complaints about telecommunications services. Some of these include billing problems, telephone faults, poor customer service, mobile phone contract problems and Internet access difficulties.
When should I go to the TIO?
If you have a complaint about your phone or internet, the first step you should take is to contact us and try and resolve it directly. Usually the problem can be resolved at this stage. However, if you are unhappy with the resolution of the problem, you can make a complaint to the TIO.
How much does it cost?
The TIO service is free. There is no charge to have a complaint investigated by the TIO.
How do I contact the TIO?
If you don’t speak English, you can call the Commonwealth Government’s Translating and
Interpreting Services on 131 450 and ask to be put through to the TIO. The TIO pays for the cost of using the interpreter service. The TIO also has fact sheets available in different languages.
OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PRIVACY COMMISSIONER
The Office of the Information Commissioner can assist you with all matters related to privacy. To lodge a complaint you can call 1300 363 992 or visit http://www.oaic.gov.au/.
For certain telecommunications and trade practices issues, you may lodge a complaint to:
- The Fair Trading Office in your state;
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission; and/or
- You may also obtain legal advice from your solicitor as an alternative avenue for resolution.
FINANCIAL HARDSHIP POLICY
Our Definition of Financial Hardship
We use a recognized definition of financial hardship. The ACIF Credit Management Code defines financial hardship as:
“a situation where a Customer is unable, reasonably, because of illness, unemployment or other reasonable cause, to discharge their financial obligations under their contract with the Supplier and the Customer reasonably expects to be able to discharge those obligations if payment and/or Service arrangements were changed. Financial hardship can be of limited or long term duration.”
Customer hardship can arise from a variety of situations. Hardship can be either of limited duration or long term. To illustrate, several of the common causes are listed below.
Hardship can result from a number of factors including:
- Loss of employment by the consumer or family member.
- Family breakdown.
- Illness including physical incapacity, hospitalisation, or mental illness of the consumer or family member.
- A death in the family.
- Heavy use of the service by customer (eg. from use of 190X numbers, GPRS or data roaming).
- Use of the service by a third party leaving the customer unable to pay the account.
- Natural Disaster.
Identifying a Customer Experiencing Financial Hardship
We consider financial hardship a state that involves an ongoing real inability of the customer to pay bills, rather than an unwillingness to do so.
In order for us to apply this policy you must satisfy Us that you are experiencing financial hardship in the meaning of the above definition. The decision of whether you are experiencing financial hardship for the purpose of this policy will be made by Us, in Our sole discretion.
We encourage you to provide us with third party evidence, such as a report from a financial counselor, or a bank, or Centrelink, to confirm the details of your financial hardship.
You may ask us to deal with a Financial Counsellor on Your behalf. In order for Us to speak to a Financial Counsellor, the customer must be present, or we must have received prior authority from the customer to speak with the Counsellor on their behalf. Please contact us for further information.
Customers who have chosen to transfer all of their services to another provider but still have an outstanding balance with Us are ineligible for participation in Our Financial Hardship Program.
Reaching a Financial Arrangement
Once we agree You are experiencing Financial Hardship, We may at our discretion agree to a temporary financial arrangement which is different to the terms which ordinarily apply to You.
The basic principle of any agreed financial arrangement for Financial Hardship is that the repayment made by You should be sufficient to cover expected future use of the service (as adjusted to ensure the customer’s financial position does not worsen over a reasonable period of time) as well as providing continued reduction of debt at a reasonable level (i.e. the customer should not be going into further debt under the arrangement).