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How to make a complaint infographic

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If you have a problem with your phone or internet provider, you have a right to complain. Making a successful complaint is straightforward, especially when you know your rights.

Here are five simple steps to make sure your complaint is heard and resolved quickly.

  1. Gather all the relevant information
    Gather any information that supports your complaint, such as your bill, records of text messages and calls or details of a fault.

  2. Think about what you want your provider to do
    You may want a credit on your bill, a charge reversed or a change to your plan. You may just want your provider to fix the problem so it does not happen again, or even an apology.

  3. Contact your provider
    Your provider will have a complaint handling policy on their website that explains how you can make a complaint. Some may have a dedicated phone number. Make sure you clearly state that you have a complaint. Save any emails and keep a log of the time and date of when you made or received calls.

  4. Resolving the complaint
    Providers should attempt to resolve your complaint the first time you contact them and finalise it within three weeks. Urgent complaints must be resolved within two days. If you are unhappy with the response you get from your provider, or they are taking too long to resolve the complaint, you can ask that your complaint be referred to a manager or supervisor.

  5. Contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)
    If your complaint still is not resolved to your satisfaction or if your provider does not do what they said they will do to resolve the problem, you have a right to contact the TIO. The TIO has the power to investigate customer complaints and make the supplier fix the problem, reimburse you or compensate you. Your provider is not allowed to start debt collection procedures on a bill if you are in the process of disputing it.

    Please note: the TIO is a free service that can help you resolve your complaint if you have given your provider a reasonable opportunity to address the problem and you make the complaint within two years of becoming aware of the problem. You must you contact your telco first to try to fix the problem before going to the TIO.

Problems with customer service?

Not all providers are equal when it comes to customer service, but all of them are required to do a few things:

  • Deal with your enquiries quickly and effectively.
  • Try to resolve any problem the first time you contact them.
  • Protect your personal information.


You have a right to complain to the TIO if your provider:

  • Is hard to get in contact with, for example if your call is not answered or they do not respond to emails within a reasonable period of time.
  • Does not do what they promised to do to resolve an issue.
  • Is disrespectful or offensive.
  • Refuses to escalate your complaint to a supervisor or manager if you request it.