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  • #964830
    Justice
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    My partner started a telephone business 8 months ago and entered into a relationship with a Service Provider who failed to pass on information about the telecommunications advertising codes of practice.
    Subsequently, the advertising contents regulator TISSC (Telecommunications Information Services Standards Council) served a breach of code for two very minor issues:
    (1.) forgetting to show the service provider’s name on a web page, and
    (2.) not answering a phone call that rang out in just 7 rings.

    Both of these issues were immediately rectified by (1.) adding the service provider’s name in the one web page where it had been forgotten, and (2.) requesting a longer ring time from the service provider so that the phone could be answered before it rang out.

    Both breaches were generated by TISSC themselves and NO customer complaints have ever been made. When both problems were immediatley rectified, we believed that everything was okay, but TISSC recorded these minor breaches on their complaints site anyway and we have never been able to understand why they did this.

    Although no complaint was or has ever been lodged by a client, and both minor issues were fixed immediately; after 8 months TISSC continues to record the same breach of code on it’s complaints web site, using precise key words referring to the business name that customers use to find the business web site. Thus when customers do a search for the business, Google also brings up the TISSC complaints page, which very clearly shows that a breach has been recorded against the business. The TISSC site does not mention what the breaches were (how minor they were), or that they were immediately addressed, or that no customer complaints have ever been made. The TISSC complaints page only mentions that breaches has been recorded – leaving potential customers to guess as to how serious the breaches were.

    We feel this is unacceptable and we question TISSC’s motives for doing such a thing. The TISSC committee is made up of a selection of Service Providers – i.e. competitors who are in direct competition with the businesses they record breaches against.

    Could someone suggest what they would do to deal with this situation? How do we get these minor breaches removed from the TISSC complaints site? Why were they ever recorded there in the first place. TISSC refuses to communicate directly with us.

    My partner is becoming quite distressed by these practices and I would like to get other business owners feedback please.

    #1008517
    VacuumRobot.com.au
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    Welcome to the forum, I see that you only have 1 post.. but nobody reply ;/ I hate reading terms and conditions.. and the problems associated with it.. so I’m can’t answer to your questions.

    Dave

    #1008518
    Justice
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    Hi Dave,

    I’m not sure what you meant by following the terms and conditions of the forum? I’m writing about our own experience and referring to information that we know is currently influencing our marketing and affecting sales.

    My hope was that experienced business owners would be able to respond without breaching the terms and conditions of the forum. I definitely will place more posts on the forum in the future. I have been looking at some of the categories and getting a lot of helpful information.

    Anyway, thank you for answering.

    #1008520
    VacuumRobot.com.au
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    Hi Justice,

    What I meant is the TISSC terms and conditions.. you’ve apparently breached :) I hate reading into the terms..caused me a bit of a headache trying to read them lol
    But my intention on my reply was to get you posting in this forum, I’m a newbie here too, so welcome.

    Dave

    #1008521
    Justice
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    Thanks Dave,

    Yes trying to get your head around the codes is a bit of a nightmare. Mind you if they change any of the codes there is no incentive to send out a heads up to small business to check if you are complying with them.

    You would think they would just need to release their findings and then once they had revealed this to the public they would then move onto the next month breaches. It looks as though they have decided to do this indefinitely. What other business industry gets away with something like this? I can’t think of any.

    #1008522
    peppie
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    • Total posts: 525
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    Hello Justice and welcome to the forum.

    My sympathies over your quandary, it’s not nice when it happens but the best I can say is that you need to try to think clearly and not let it get it’s hooks into you. This is not something that will not be solved overnight so a methodical approach is called for.

    Any of of us would need to understand the business arrangement with both the service provider and the TISSC to help you better. I for one have no real experience in this area at all. But as I said it needs a methodical approach. What about the service provider? Obviously they got you into this maybe they can help. Now, I am almost certain that they will not want to take responsibility, but a bit of weight applied might help. Don’t accept an answer like “oh I will have to get X to call you back on this”, you may just have to push for someone higher up or even turn up on the doorstep. See if you can get them to provide backup support towards the TISCC.

    Similar with the TISSCC. Yes I can see that you have limited access to a contact, but all I can suggest is that you push fairly hard without coming across as mean and nasty. Ask for someone who can deal with your complaint, because that is what it is, and try to get as high as you can.

    Ultimately you may find that they had really not thought of this sort of problem before and had simply not allowed for a way to deal with it. So if you approach it as “I/we have a problem and there doesn’t seem to be a way to deal with it” you may get a better hearing. People get very defensive if you assume firstly that they are doing the dirty on you.

    Jexley. “Jesusbot”, very funny (only He doesn’t need an internet connection). Except that I personally don’t find it funny to make fun of someone else’s beliefs. I happen to believe that what reet234 says is correct, I would certainly not have approached it in the way he/she has, but neither would I have poked fun at them for the way they said it. It would be as bad as poking fun at Justice for their problem and they way they have handled it, (smile).

    #1008523
    Jexley
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    • Total posts: 382
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    Hey Pep,
    I mock only people’s actions, their beliefs are their own and I respect that.

    That said, I reported that post as well as my own and recommended both be removed… and BANG both gone, like that. Most excellent these admins at keeping this forum clean.

    Sometimes, I just can’t help myself, you see, but better sense usually prevails.

    And “Jesusbots” was more in reference to the types of software that spams comments sections on blogs and forums, rather than those with those beliefs. So mea culpa, that one could’ve been worded better. Next time I make fun of someone randomly being a horrible troll, I’ll watch myself. =)

    Cheers.

    #1008524
    Jexley
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    • Total posts: 382
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    Oh, and pre-removal, my post welcomed the heck out of Justice and Dave, and reminded them to drop into the new member areas as well as the Site Critique areas (if they haven’t already) to greet the peeps and garner invaluable feedback (with a bit of networking and promotion thrown in).

    Welcome noobs!

    #1008525
    Justice
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    • Total posts: 5
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    peppie, post: 8182 wrote:
    Hello Justice and welcome to the forum.

    My sympathies over your quandary, it’s not nice when it happens but the best I can say is that you need to try to think clearly and not let it get it’s hooks into you. This is not something that will not be solved overnight so a methodical approach is called for.

    Any of of us would need to understand the business arrangement with both the service provider and the TISSC to help you better. I for one have no real experience in this area at all. But as I said it needs a methodical approach. What about the service provider? Obviously they got you into this maybe they can help. Now, I am almost certain that they will not want to take responsibility, but a bit of weight applied might help. Don’t accept an answer like “oh I will have to get X to call you back on this”, you may just have to push for someone higher up or even turn up on the doorstep. See if you can get them to provide backup support towards the TISCC.

    Similar with the TISSCC. Yes I can see that you have limited access to a contact, but all I can suggest is that you push fairly hard without coming across as mean and nasty. Ask for someone who can deal with your complaint, because that is what it is, and try to get as high as you can.

    Ultimately you may find that they had really not thought of this sort of problem before and had simply not allowed for a way to deal with it. So if you approach it as “I/we have a problem and there doesn’t seem to be a way to deal with it” you may get a better hearing. People get very defensive if you assume firstly that they are doing the dirty on you.

    Jexley. “Jesusbot”, very funny (only He doesn’t need an internet connection). Except that I personally don’t find it funny to make fun of someone else’s beliefs. I happen to believe that what reet234 says is correct, I would certainly not have approached it in the way he/she has, but neither would I have poked fun at them for the way they said it. It would be as bad as poking fun at Justice for their problem and they way they have handled it, (smile).

    Yes, you would think the service provider would act on our behalf and represent our concerns, but we found the exact opposite. Our now ex service provider failed to share the details with us in the first place and when we requested they provide an accurate historical background on the sequence of events they stated they didn’t want to deal with TISSC. They then advised they wanted to end our contractual relationship (because they can).

    You also need to know they are in direct competition with my partners business and even though it states categorically that the telecommunications service provider should represent your business interests – it really didn’t apply in practice.

    There doesn’t seem to be anyway of being able to get TISSC to see reason, or to work around these self regulated codes. It just seems to fall on deaf ears and although you attempt to follow sound business ethics in placing your concerns in writing they don’t even bother to reply.

    What freaks me out is that the TISSC council is a closed shop. You can’t even find out who sits on the council. Why there is such a need for secrecy is beyond me – they are meant to be a fully transparent self regulated governing body.

    #1008527
    Business Vic
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    • Total posts: 35
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    Justice, post: 8273 wrote:
    Yes, you would think the service provider would act on our behalf and represent our concerns, but we found the exact opposite. Our now ex service provider failed to share the details with us in the first place and when we requested they provide an accurate historical background on the sequence of events they stated they didn’t want to deal with TISSC. They then advised they wanted to end our contractual relationship (because they can).

    You also need to know they are in direct competition with my partners business and even though it states categorically that the telecommunications service provider should represent your business interests – it really didn’t apply in practice.

    There doesn’t seem to be anyway of being able to get TISSC to see reason, or to work around these self regulated codes. It just seems to fall on deaf ears and although you attempt to follow sound business ethics in placing your concerns in writing they don’t even bother to reply.

    What freaks me out is that the TISSC council is a closed shop. You can’t even find out who sits on the council. Why there is such a need for secrecy is beyond me – they are meant to be a fully transparent self regulated governing body.

    Hi Justice,

    Is your business based in Victoria?

    The Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) investigates complaints about unfair market practices and provides a business dispute resolution service.

    For more information please visit http://www.sbc.vic.gov.au or contact the VSBC on tel: 13 22 15.

    Regards,

    Business Victoria
    http://www.business.vic.gov.au

    #1008528
    Justice
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    TISSC are at it again on all days – Australia Day. Yep, they’re scanning every page of my partner’s website to try and place another complaint next to her name. Where not only talking about the website, blog, forum – you name it.

    This time we have spotted them and are following their every move and as well as recording everything from print outs etc.

    We need to be able to prove they’re being anti competitive and deliberately targeting their direct competitors. We think we might have them because it looks as though they have been doing this over a period of days now.

    If they dare to place another complaint next to my partners business we will definitely take them to court. The codes state they must inform the Service Provider and then they should inform my partner and advise her of any concerns. They are not supposed to be able to record any complaint for a minor issue. Let’s wait and see what they try to do this time.

    Thanks for all your replies.

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