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Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Bill 1998

Part 6 The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

   

126   Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Part:

•      Certain carriers and carriage service providers must enter into the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme.

•      The membership of the scheme must be open to all carriers and carriage service providers.

•      Carriers and carriage service providers must comply with the scheme.

127   Eligible carriage service providers

                   For the purposes of this Part, an eligible carriage service provider is:

                     (a)  a carriage service provider who supplies:

                              (i)  a standard telephone service, where any of the customers are residential customers or small business customers; or

                             (ii)  a public mobile telecommunications service; or

                            (iii)  a carriage service that enables end-users to access the Internet; or

                     (b)  a carriage service intermediary who arranges for the supply of a service referred to in subparagraph (a)(i), (ii) or (iii).

128   Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme

             (1)  Each carrier and each eligible carriage service provider must, in association with other carriers and other eligible carriage service providers, enter into a scheme providing for a Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

Note:          Section 129 provides for exemptions from subsection (1) of this section.

             (2)  The scheme is to be known as the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme .

             (3)  To avoid doubt, there is only one Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme, namely, the scheme operated by Telecomunications Industry Ombudsman Limited (ACN 057 634 787).

             (4)  The scheme must provide for the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman to:

                     (a)  investigate; and

                     (b)  make determinations relating to; and

                     (c)  give directions relating to;

complaints about carriage services by end-users of those services.

             (5)  The following is an example of such a complaint: a complaint about billing, or the manner of charging, for the supply of carriage services.

             (6)  The scheme must not provide for the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman to investigate complaints about:

                     (a)  the levels at which tariffs are set; or

                     (b)  the content of a content service.

             (7)  The membership of the scheme must be open to all:

                     (a)  carriers; and

                     (b)  carriage service providers.

129   Exemptions from requirement to join scheme

             (1)  The ACA may, by notice in the Gazette , declare that a specified carrier or eligible carriage service provider is exempt from the requirement set out in subsection 128(1). The declaration has effect accordingly.

Note:          Carriers or providers may be specified by name, by inclusion in a particular class or in any other way.

             (2)  In deciding whether a carrier or provider should be exempt from the requirement set out in subsection 128(1), the ACA must have regard to the following matters:

                     (a)  the extent to which the carrier or provider deals with residential customers in relation to the supply of carriage services;

                     (b)  the extent to which the carrier or provider deals with proprietors of small businesses in relation to the supply of carriage services;

                     (c)  the potential for complaints under the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme about services supplied by the carrier or provider.

             (3)  Subsection (2) does not, by implication, limit the matters to which the ACA may have regard.

             (4)  Before making a declaration under this section, the ACA must consult the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

130   Direction to join scheme

             (1)  The ACA may give a carriage service provider a written notice directing the provider to enter into the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme.

             (2)  The provider must comply with the direction.

             (3)  In deciding whether to give a direction to a provider under this section, the ACA must have regard to the following matters:

                     (a)  the extent to which the provider deals with residential customers in relation to the supply of carriage services;

                     (b)  the extent to which the provider deals with proprietors of small businesses in relation to the supply of carriage services;

                     (c)  the potential for complaints under the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme about the services supplied by the provider.

             (4)  Subsection (3) does not, by implication, limit the matters to which the ACA may have regard.

             (5)  Before giving a direction under this section, the ACA must consult the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

131   Determination that a class of carriage service providers must join scheme

             (1)  The ACA may make a written determination that the members of a specified class of carriage service providers must enter into the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme.

             (2)  A copy of the determination must be published in the Gazette .

             (3)  In deciding whether to make a determination under this section in relation to a class of carriage service providers, the ACA must have regard to the following matters:

                     (a)  the extent to which members of that class deal with residential customers in relation to the supply of carriage services;

                     (b)  the extent to which members of that class deal with proprietors of small businesses in relation to the supply of carriage services;

                     (c)  the potential for complaints under the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme about services supplied by members of that class.

             (4)  Subsection (3) does not, by implication, limit the matters to which the ACA may have regard.

             (5)  Before making a determination under this section, the ACA must consult the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

132   Members of scheme must comply with scheme

                   A carrier or carriage service provider who is a member of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme must comply with the scheme.

133   Register of members of scheme

             (1)  The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is to maintain a Register of the names of the members of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman scheme.

             (2)  The Register may be maintained by electronic means.

             (3)  The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman must ensure that the Register is open for inspection, at all reasonable times, by members of the public.