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What is an ombudsman?

An ombudsman is one of the alternative methods of dispute resolution launched through various European initiatives. In this way, disputes can be resolved out of court, at lower costs and within a shorter time frame.

The Telecommunications Ombudsman is competent to deal with disputes between users and providers of electronic communications services. His aim is to reach an amicable settlement between the parties within a reasonable period of time laid down by law.

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A person holding two puzzle pieces in their hands (Office of the Ombudsman for Telecommunications).


The Ombudsman acts as an appeal body. Complaints are admissible if the complainant has previously taken steps with his provider of electronic communications services. In the context of his mission, the Ombudsman ensures that disputes are handled in complete independence.

Within the limits of its competences, the Ombudsman service does not receive instructions from any authority and remains completely independent of providers of electronic communications services.

He also pays a lot of attention to accessibility, by allowing complaints to be submitted through different channels: by post, electronically, via a web form, but also in the office, after making an appointment. In addition, complaints can be submitted in Dutch, French, German and English. The questions will be treated confidentially and the use of the service is completely free of charge for the complainants.

The key words are independencefree of chargeaccessibilityconfidentiality.

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A man and a woman sitting at a table, talking (Office of the Ombudsman for Telecommunications).


The Ombudsman for Telecommunications carries out his duties under the Law of 21 March 1991 on the reform of certain economic public enterprises:

  • Investigate all end-user complaints related to the activities of telecom operators;
  • Mediate to facilitate an amicable settlement of disputes between telecom operators and end-users;
  • Address a recommendation to the telecom operator if an amicable solution cannot be reached;
  • Inform end-users who address the service in writing or orally as well as possible about their concerns;
  • At the request of the Minister responsible for telecommunications, of the Minister responsible for consumer affairs, of the regulator or of other intervening parties, issue opinions in the context of his duties;
  • Examine the request of any person claiming to be the victim of malicious use of an electronic communications network or service in order to obtain information on the identity and address of the users of electronic communications networks or services who have harassed that person;
  • Cooperate with other ombuds services, committees, agencies, foreign ombudsmen or regulators
A puzzled person in front of their laptop (Office of the Ombudsman for Telecommunications).


As part of his duties, the Ombudsman must publish an annual report on his activities. This report highlights the disputes dealt with by the Mediation Service and addresses any structural problems. It can also be a way for providers of electronic communications services to assess their operation and services. In this way, the Ombudsman has a signal function to all actors who can bring about structural improvements for all users.

Within the team of the Mediation Service for Telecommunications, the staff handles the disputes independently, impartially, fairly and with integrity. They maintain constructive cooperation with the sector and strive for a result-oriented approach so that amicable settlements can be reached in the shortest possible time. When dealing with complaints, the employees demonstrate willingness to listen and empathy and develop a relationship of trust with all parties. The Mediation Service also pays special attention to vulnerable people.

Thanks to its values, the expertise of its employees and their motivation, the service reaches a high number of amicable settlements. These positive results benefit both complainants in the handling of their complaints and the entire telecommunications sector, by improving relations between end-users and operators.

Consult annual reports
Three men and a woman greeting each other (Office of the Ombudsman for Telecommunications).