Frivolous, vexatious or trivial complaints
Summary of the issue
TDR cannot consider complaints which it deems to be frivolous, vexatious or trivial. This position statement provides a definition of when those exclusions will be found to apply.
TDR’s view of the issue
TDR applies the NZ Telecommunications Forum Customer Complaints Code (the Code). Clause 18 sets out a range of exclusions from the TDR Scheme, which includes if the complaint is “frivolous or vexatious or trivial”.
In deciding whether any complaint may be frivolous, vexatious or trivial, TDR will consider a range of factors including:
- the subject of the complaint,
- the outcome sought by the Customer,
- history of interactions between the Customer and the Scheme Member,
- any offers made by the Scheme Member to settle the dispute,
- the value and importance of the complaint to both the Customer and Scheme Member, which may take into consideration the means of the Customer,
- the manner in which the complaint has been pursued.
TDR define the three exclusions as follows:
TDR consider a frivolous complaint to be a complaint with no or very limited legal merit.
TDR consider vexatious complaints to be complaints brought with the primary intention of annoying the opposition (Scheme Member). A complaint may initially have merit, but if pursued in a vexatious way, can be found to be wholly vexatious.
TDR consider trivial complaints to be complaints where the subject matter of the dispute is of such little value or importance to the parties, as to make it unreasonable to pursue.