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Published Monday 30 Aug 2021


The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF) welcomes today’s release of the draft report on recommendations for improvements of the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme (TDRS).

 

TCF CEO, Paul Brislen says “The telecommunications industry is looking forward to working collaboratively and constructively with the Commerce Commission over the coming months to address the areas of concern reflected in the initial review.”

“The TCF has already started work on a number of improvement measures for the TDRS that the Commission has included in this draft, including a review of the Customer Complaints Code, reviewing governance arrangements and significantly increasing the 2021/2022 marketing budget to boost consumer awareness of the scheme.”

TDR is an independent service, free for residential and small business customers, which helps consumers resolve complaints with their telecommunications provider.

“The number of users of telecommunications has grown significantly over the past two decades. New Zealand has more than 6.2 million mobile connections, and 1.79 million fixed connections, and that number is steadily growing.”

“On top of that, the way we use telecommunications has changed entirely in the same time. From making voice calls and sending text messages, the industry now enables online banking, video calling, remote working, entertainment of all kinds, education and learning opportunities and much, much more. I can’t think of another industry that has so many different touch points with so many customers.”

Due to recent changes to the Telecommunications Act, the Commerce Commission is required to review the TDR scheme at least once every three years.  The Commission published an issues paper today and has to complete its review by 13 November 2021.

The number of complaints received by the TDR has grown on average by 14% year on year. In 2019/20, the TDR resolved 2,812 complaints and enquiries from consumers. Of those, 98 percent of the enquiries were resolved promptly with service providers working directly with customers.[1]

“The fact that only two percent of all complaints raised resulted in formal complaints to the TDR is a very good indication that New Zealander’s are on the whole receiving good customer service from their providers,” says Paul.

[1] TDR Annual Report 2019/20 https://www.tdr.org.nz/news/tdr-annual-report-2019-20-0