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The TDRS helps consumers resolve complaints about their telecommunications services.

What it is

The Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme (TDRS) is provided by the TCF. It comprises of a Terms of Reference (ToR) for oversight of the scheme by the TDRS Council, and the Customer Complaints Code which sets out principles processes for making a complaint and handling of complaints by the independent Scheme Agent, Fair Way Resolution.

The TCF Customer Complaints Code (the Code) is a mandatory code for TCF members and voluntary for non-TCF members.  

TDRS Review

The Commerce Commission is required to review the TDRS at least every three years. The first review was conducted in 2021 and the Commerce Commission has published its review findings in its final report to the TCF, the review outlined two key areas of consideration:  

  • Governance structure adjustments needed to make the TDRS Council independent of the TCF and establish clear lines of accountability,   

  • Operational adjustments to better align the scheme with key principles of a successful dispute resolution scheme set out in s 246(2)(f) of the Act to address retail service quality matters and to achieve better outcomes for consumers.   

TDRS Project

In 2021 the TCF commenced with a project to implement the Commerce Commission’s recommendations.  This programme of work includes reviewing the Scheme governance, Scheme Rules, and the Customer Complaints Code.

The project will be delivered in two phases;

  • Phase 1 was completed by December 2021 with changes made to the TCF Customer Complaints Code to deliver operational improvements.
  • Phase 2 to be completed by the end of June 2023, with the new TDRL Board and governance framework operational from 1 July 2023.

Public Consultation

A public consultation process has now closed on phase 2 of the project to seek views from wider stakeholders and consumer groups on the key changes to the Scheme.  

The following documents were published for public consultation including an overview document on the project and consultation process:

The following submissions have been received from:


TDRS Project Timeline

Working Party Members

  • TDR Council
  • Fair Way Resolution
  • 2degrees
  • Chorus
  • DTS
  • Enable Networks
  • Mercury
  • NOW
  • One New Zealand
  • Primo
  • Sky Broadband
  • Spark
  • TNZ
  • Tuatahi First Fibre
  • Vocus
  • VoIPLine Telecom
Last Modified On Tuesday, 8 August 2023