The New Zealand Consumer Survey report released today by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) said that home-based telecommunications has the highest incidence of problems.
The Telecommunications Forum (TCF) CEO Geoff Thorn says this outcome is not surprising given the number of connections and associated transactions people have, and that, in the case of fibre, it is new infrastructure that is being rolled out across the country.
“The average New Zealand household has 4.6 telecommunications connections, so there is always going to be a higher level of complaints compared to other consumer goods or services which are more commonly one-off purchases or single services,” said Thorn.
“Given this, we would welcome the expansion of the way in which MBIE measures its results to put them into the context of volume of transactions or connection numbers, in addition to incidence and impact.
“We know that New Zealand consumers have access to world-class telecommunications services when measured by coverage, speed and price. However, we recognise that there are areas where the telecommunications industry can improve and we continue to develop industry processes which focus on delivering good customer outcomes. The TCF is currently working with Commerce Commission on the new Retail Service Quality regime which will be developed over the coming months.”
If customers have issues with their service provider, they are encouraged to make a complaint to the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR) scheme. Since 2007, the TDR has helped over 18,000 consumers solve disputes. In 2017/2018, 96.9 percent of the enquiries to the TDR were resolved promptly with the service providers working directly with consumers, and did not result in formal complaints.