The TIO Scheme: What to know and why you should join

  • Hosted Network January 13, 2023
  • Hosted Network Madeleane Abejero
  • Hosted Network 2 mins

Did you know that  there’s a government entity that can help your MSP deal with a difficult customer or a complicated issue? 

If you aren’t familliar with it, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), is an industry-based dispute resolution scheme for customers of Internet and telco providers.  

While the common misconception is that being a TIO member is a huge obligation and another thing to worry about, it’s the other way around.  It acts as the middleman between your MSP and end-customers, saving you the trouble of having to deal with escalations on your own. 

It’s also a way to ensure that end-customers get the support that they deserve and catch dodgy MSPs who don’t respond to their customers in a reasonable time frame, lie about the capabilities of their services or worse, those who keep on charging customers for a service that isn’t working. 

A TIO member can be fined if the TIO receives complaints about the service provider’s practices. This often sounds more scary than it is, but unless you completely ignore your client and provide a crappy customer experience  then the TIO is unlikely to fine you.

Typical TIO reports include the complaint details of end-customers, the resolution they’re after, action required from the provider and next steps to resolve the issue. 

Who must be a TIO member? 

The Telecommunications Act 1999 requires that carriers and eligible carrier providers of:

  • A standard telephone service to residential or small business customers
  • A public mobile telecommunication service 
  • Access to the internet

You may also be required to join if:

  • You have received a written notice from the ACMA to join the TIO scheme
  • You are a member of a specified class of CSPs that the ACMA has determined must join the TIO scheme

What are the benefits of being a TIO member?

  • The TIO helps review and finalise disputes even with difficult customers, so you don’t have to deal with all the headaches and focus what matters most to your MSP
  • Resolve consumer complaints outside traditional legal procedures, which are often costly and time consuming
  • Maintain customer trust knowing that there’s a government organisation they can talk to if they experience issues that cannot be directly  fixed by your MSP
  • The TIO encourages cooperative relationships among its members and helps them execute measures to prevent complaints to be escalated

If you aren’t a member yet, you can learn more about TIO and apply as a member here: