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Published Thursday 9 Dec 2021


The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF) welcomes the Commerce Commission’s final baseline report into retail service quality as it now provides an indication of the Commission’s focus for the year ahead.

 

The report is the conclusion of a three-year-long process for the Commission which has been reviewing retail service issues in the industry. Telecommunications Forum CEO Paul Brislen says the baseline report sets the benchmark for its work in 2022. 
 
“The Commission’s own research shows that 78% of customers are satisfied or very satisfied with the service they receive but there’s always room to do more when it comes to our customers.” 
 
As Kiwis become ever-more reliant on telecommunication services, the sector is stepping up in terms of capability and delivery to ensure more New Zealanders are able to connect to the service they want at the price that’s right for them. 
 
“Telecommunications is one of the only sectors where prices have consistently fallen over the last 15 years, while at the same time more than a billion dollars a year has been invested in delivering faster speeds and greater capability around New Zealand.” 
 
The TCF has a large body of work already underway and now with this guidance from the Commission the sector can prioritise which areas need the most attention next year. 
 
“These behind-the-scenes projects help guide the industry to deliver a better front-end service to consumers,” says Brislen. 
 
“We have updated the Mobile Messaging Code to ensure the safe and responsible delivery of mobile messages that comply with legal and regulatory obligations in order to safeguard consumers. Our new-look Premises Wiring Guidelines helps consumers cut through all the tech jargon and makes it easier for customers to get the most out of their home networks, something that’s been incredibly important during our response to the COVID pandemic.” 
 
On top of that the TCF has been working on a new Marketing Alternative Services Code, an industry report on Consumer Data Rights, a review of the Dispute Resolution Service, updates to the Customer Transfer Code and the Broadband Product Disclosure Code, and is also fully engaged with the government on the sector’s role as critical infrastructure during times of crisis. 
 
“All of these projects are focussed on putting the customer front and centre, and improving outcomes for consumers,” says Brislen. 
 
The TCF encourages the Commission to engage in meaningful dialogue with the sector to provide input into its draft RSQ work programme before it is finalised. This will ensure that industry will be well placed to continue to deliver its own initiatives as well as support the Commission on theirs, which will ultimately deliver better outcomes for consumers of telecommunications services.