Dealing with phone problems
Whether it's your fault or not, you have legal rights that can
help you to sort out problems or make complaints about your phone
or mobile service provider. There are just a couple of steps for
you to take.
Types of mobile phone
Whatever your problem, there's a system for helping you to deal
with it. Here are some common problems that could be resolved by
talking to your provider.
Case study: Hien's bill shock
Hien was on a $39 a month plan with a monthly allowance of $350
for calls and text. But the allowance was not a cap and his mobile
service provider did not send 'alerts' to its customers to tell
them when they were near their maximum allowance.
He reached $350 half way through his first month and for the
rest of that month extra charges were added each time he used his
mobile. At the end of the month he got a bill for an extra $220! He
couldn't pay it and then he got an overdue notice but he still
He contacted his provider and explained that he had not really
understood his plan. The provider agreed to allow him to pay the
$350 debt off at $70 a month for 5 months. This was on top of his
existing contract of $39 each month.
If your new phone is faulty or doesn't work, you may have the
right to get it repaired or replaced, or get a refund. Contact your
service provider to find out. See your consumer rights at ACCC: Telephone and
If you bought your phone from a business outside Australia, you
may find it a lot more difficult to insist on your rights. In any
case, keep your receipts, warranty document and contract with the
service provider as proof of purchase.
If your bill is heaps more than you expected don't panic, just
follow the steps below.
Network coverage or internet connection
Poor quality mobile network coverage can be a real problem but
you can make a complaint.
How to resolve mobile phone
Step 1 - Contact your mobile service provider
Contact your service provider about your complaint. The rules
say that the provider must be fair with you in trying to solve the
problem. When you contact your provider, they should deal with your
problem quickly in a helpful and positive way.
If you feel they're not being fair or you are unhappy with the
outcome, there's a special organisation you can go to for help
called the Telecommunications Industry
Ombudsman (TIO). The TIO will help find a solution that is
fair to you and the provider.
Are you happy with the solution?
|If you're happy with the solution suggested, the service
provider must do what it promised within 10 days.
||If it's taking too long or you don't agree with the solution
suggested, ask the provider to refer your complaint to a supervisor
or manager - they have more authority to make decisions.
||If you're still not satisfied after speaking to a manager who
works for your provider, contact the Telecommunications Industry
Step 2 - Contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
The Telecommunications Industry
Ombudsman (TIO) is a free, independent service that
helps people who are not satisfied with a mobile service provider's
handling of your problem, whether it has to do with bills,
payments, faults, poor network connection or poor handling of your
complaint by a provider.
The TIO can help you and your provider to sort out the problem,
and can then investigate and decide on a fair solution for your
Case study: David gets help from the Industry Ombudsman
When David wanted a new mobile phone, he decided to go on a plan
with a service provider that bundled his mobile with his home
internet service. However, the provider's internet connection was
not good in the area where David lived.
David complained to his provider and they agreed to drop his
internet service and refund the money he'd been paying for the
David decided to change to a different mobile phone service
because he knew he could get a better deal. However, the original
provider would not cancel the mobile phone part of the
David contacted the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
(TIO). The TIO discussed the problem with David's provider and
found that it was unfair to make him stick to his mobile phone
contract because the contract was for a bundle, and the provider
could not provide all the bundled services. The provider agreed to
cancel David's contract.
Last updated: 22 Feb 2017