Determinations

TDR Case Note T004276 (2010)

Issue

Connection delays and service issues.

Background

The customer contracted with the Scheme Member Provider (Provider) on 15 February 2010 for the provision of telephone and internet services. The customer was advised during the sales call that the expected delay in connecting his telephone service would be 3-5 days, but in fact that timeframe was not complied with.  The provider contended that the customer was advised of a 3-7 day delay during the initial sales call, and the customer’s telephone was connected on 22 February. The customer then reported that his telephone was not working and a fault was registered on 24 February. The fault was remedied on 25 February, on which date the customer’s telephone services were finally working properly.

The customer also complained that he experienced a delay in receiving his modem. The provider advised that the courier’s records indicated that the modem was delivered on 26 February. The customer was provided with the “Track and Trace” details when he contacted with the provider on 1 March. However, the customer had not received it by 2 March and contacted the provider to cancel his contract.  The modem finally arrived on 4 March.

The customer considered that the service received from the provider had been poor and he should not be charged a disconnection fee. The provider responded that it provided services in line with what was originally advised to the customer. When the fault with the telephone service was identified it was fixed within one day. The delay in delivering the modem was due to the customer residing in a rural delivery location, which meant that the courier could not deliver the package to the door. As the customer had requested termination of his services prior to the expiry of the 2-year term, he should be charged the early termination fee of $199.

Adjudicator’s decision

The adjudicator identified the essential issue as being whether there had been an unreasonable delay in connecting the telephone and internet services.

With regard to the telephone connection, the adjudicator found that the connection had occurred within a 7-day period after the contract had been entered into. The original sales recording referred to a time-frame of 3-7 days.  The subsequent fault with telephone service was remedied the following day, which was a most reasonable timeframe for resolving it.  The delay in relation to the customer’s telephone service connection was therefore reasonable, and within the timeframe originally notified.

With regard to the internet connection, the file material indicated that that the provider advised the customer that his modem could not be despatched until his telephone connection was operational.  The courier records established that the modem was delivered to the rural delivery person on 26 February.  The adjudicator found that the further delay in delivering the modem to the customer was the responsibility of the courier company and not the provider.  Given that the telephone service was connected on 22 February, the provider had in fact sent the modem within a matter of days. The adjudicator therefore concluded that there had been no unreasonable delay in the delivery of the modem.

Final outcome

The adjudicator dismissed the customer’s complaint and concluded that there were no remedies available to the customer in relation to his complaint to the TDR service.