Voicing your concern
This page tells you how you can make a complaint about:
- film, videos, computer games, publications and music recordings
- illegal content on the Internet
- television or radio broadcasts
- print media (including related websites).
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) is a free and independent alternative dispute resolution body for small business and residential consumers in Australia who have unresolved complaints about their telephone or internet services.
The TIO aims to settle disputes quickly in a fair, objective and non-bureaucratic way, looking at:
- what the law says
- good industry practice
- what is fair and reasonable in all the circumstances.
You can complain to the TIO about issues with a telecommunications service by:
- phone: 1800 062 058 (free-call)
- email: tio [at] tio.com.au
- the TIO online complaint form.
There are rules about what can be advertised on broadcasting services in Australia, and when and where it can be advertised. Advertisements must also be accurate.
Advertisers have agreed to a code of ethics developed by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), including advertising to children and a code for advertising food and beverages. The code can be used by other agencies to assess a complaint about an advertisement.
If you want to complain about what’s in an advertisement you can approach:
- the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) for complaints about billboards, in print, on television, or on the radio. You can complain in writing to the ASB about health and safety issues, the use of language, the discriminatory portrayal of people, concern for children, and portrayals of violence, sex, sexuality and nudity. The ASB refers complaints to the Advertising Standards Board for determination.
- the Advertising Claims Board (ACB) for complaints about the truth, accuracy and legality of advertisements run by a business competitor.
Complaints about the placement of television advertising are covered by broadcasting industry codes of practice. [link to TV content below]
Television and radio programs
What you see and hear in television and radio programs is covered by industry codes of practice. Complaints about radio or television programs will be assessed in terms of how that content breaches those codes. The codes are listed at:
- Commercial Radio Australia Ltd
- Free TV Australia
- Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA)
- Special Broadcasting Service
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation
If you have a complaint about any television or radio program:
- Contact the broadcaster directly.
- If they don’t answer within 60 days you can complain to ACMA.
If you need help with contact details:
- Local telephone directories have contact information for local stations.
- The ACMA website has lists of licensed broadcasters.
- The ABC and SBS websites have contact details.
There are some matters that you can complain directly to the ACMA about, including complaints about a TV or radio broadcaster’s compliance with their licence conditions. For information on what can be complained directly to the ACMA about, and how to make a complaint, visit the ACMA website.
Film, videos, computer games, publications and music recordings
All films, videos, computer games and certain categories of publications (including magazines) and music video recordings are classified using the National Classification Scheme. Classification helps people decide which programs might be suitable for them or their families to watch.
Illegal content on the Internet
Complain to the Children's eSafety Commissioner about the content of material on the Internet.
Print and online news publishers are self-regulated. The Australian Press Council (APC) is the main body with responsibility for standards and complaints.
If you have a complaint about what’s in a newspaper, periodical, online news site or the website of these publications:
- first, approach the editor or other representative of the publication
- if you aren’t satisfied with the result you may want to contact the APC.
The APC website has more information about making complaints about print media.
Complaints about some magazines, newspapers and associated digital outlets, primarily those published by Pacific Magazines or West Australian Newspapers, are handled by the Independent Media Council (IMC), a self-regulatory body which assesses complaints against the IMC’s Code of Conduct. Information on the IMC’s Code of Conduct, and the IMC’s online complaint form, are available from the IMC’s website at www.independentmediacouncil.com.au/index.html.
Consumer safeguards policy
The Australian Government promotes an open, competitive telecommunications market so Australians can have access to innovative and affordable services.
- Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)
- Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code
- The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
- The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)