The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has recently received complaints from consumers about notifications advising their telco will no longer be offering an email hosting service. The TIO may be able to help with these complaints if the consumer has an email service with a telco provider, and was given less than 30 days’ notice about the change in service offering.
We may handle a complaint about this issue where the consumer:
- tells us they did not receive notification of the change (or did not receive enough notification to be prepared for the change)
- was given conflicting information about whether they would lose their email service or not
- has decided to transfer their service to a different provider and are unhappy they need to pay termination charges for their internet or phone service
- tells us they were misled by about availability of the email service when they signed up
- is unhappy with the change, tried to work with their provider to understand their options but it did not provide assistance, or
- is unhappy with the change – but there are other unrelated, in jurisdiction complaint matters as well (in this instance, we may handle the unrelated, in jurisdiction complaint matters, but not the consumer’s dissatisfaction with the discontinuation of the email service).
As stated by Ombudsman Cynthia Gebert:
“Telecommunications services, including email services, are essential to everyday life. An email may be used as an account login, and can be linked to other essential services like banking, and myGov.
“Consumers should be aware the TIO cannot compel a provider to continue offering a service or product.
“What we do expect is providers give sufficient notice when making changes to the services they offer and to work with their customers to find alternative solutions.
“Contact the TIO on 1800 062 058 or make a complaint online at www.tio.com.au.”