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Any customer who is unhappy with his telecom operator may ask for free the Office of the Ombudsman for Telecommunications to intervene. The Ombudsman is competent for the whole telecommunications sector. The Office works in fact as an appeal body. This means that the dissatisfied customer must try to sort things out with the customer service of his telecom operator. When this fails to provide a satisfying solution, then the case may be submitted to the Office for the Ombudsman for Telecommunications.

The Office for the Ombudsman for Telecommunications, founded by the Act of 21 March 1991 within the BIPT (Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications), operates entirely independently of the telecom operators and, within the confines of its powers, does not receive instructions from any authorities.

The Ombudsman submits a report of its activities every year.

Complaints are only admissible if the complainant can demonstrate that he has previously approached the relevant telecommunications companies.

The Office for the Ombudsman for Telecommunications may refuse to handle a complaint if that complaint was submitted to the relevant telecommunications company more than one year previously or if the complaint is vexatious.

If the user's complaint is declared admissible by the Office for the Ombudsman for Telecommunications, the collection procedure will be suspended by the operator for a maximum period of four months from submission of the complaint to the Office for the Ombudsman for Telecommunications, until the Ombudsman has formulated a recommendation or until an amicable settlement is reached.

The collection procedure for any disputed costs that are the subject of the complaint is suspended by the operator for a period of four months from submission of the complaint to the mediation service. This means that all non-disputed costs always have to be paid on time.

The investigation of a complaint is terminated if an appeal is lodged against it with the court.

Following mediation by the Office for the Ombudsman for Telecommunications, a subsequent legal procedure always remains always possible.

The Ombudsman can contact the telecom operator in order to obtain any necessary information regarding your complaint.

Any information communicated either by you or by the telecom operator to the Office for the Ombudsman for Telecommunications is regarded as confidential.

BlindSurfer, February 2006

Legal information

Telecom Mediation Service
Koning Albert II-laan 8 bus 3, 1000 Brussel - Tel 02 223 09 09 - Fax 02 219 86 59