Determinations

TDR Case Note T004301 (2010)

Issue

Services - delayed connection and provision of landline and broadband services. 

Background

The customer entered into a contract with the Scheme Member (Provider) on 26 July 2010 for the provision of landline, broadband and mobile phone services, including a free mobile handset.

The customer’s complaint related to several issues.  In regard to the free mobile handset, the customer claimed that the provider had undertaken to give him a Nokia E-63 mobile telephone, which he said had specifically been mentioned in media advertisements.  He was in fact given a Nokia 2730. The provider responded that its advertisement for a free Nokia E-63 applied only to business packages, and the customer was advised on the sales call that the free mobile handset was a Nokia 2730.

With respect to the landline connection, the parties agreed that it would be installed on 4 August 2010, but the provider’s technician did not arrive on that day.  The customer said he had travelled a significant distance to be on the premises for the installation.  Another appointment for the connection was made, being 10 August, but again there was no appearance by the provider’s technician. The customer claimed that his telephone was not connected until 11 August but the provider advised that it was connected on 10 August. 

A third complaint related to the provision of the broadband service. The customer stated that the modem was delivered to the wrong address, necessitating a 2-hour round trip for him to collect it.  The provider responded that the address recorded in its system was correct, and was the address provided to the courier firm. The courier had no information about delivery to the incorrect address. The customer further complained that he had experienced difficulties in installing the modem after collecting it, and the modem did not work until 21 August. The provider furnished records showing that the customer had been using broadband services as from 14 August. However, given the installation issues experienced, the provider waived the landline and broadband service fees for a 2-month period, valued at $250.

The customer also complained about a failure to provide an email service, and about the provider’s refusal to release the audio recording of the sales conversation and then about alleged ‘lies and falsifications’ in the recording.

Adjudicator’s decision

The adjudicator considered that the complaint was based on five broad grounds.

Firstly, in regard to the Nokia E-63, the adjudicator found that the sales call between the customer and the sales representative was clear in offering a Nokia 2730 handset. The adjudicator considered that there was no breach of the Customer Complaints Code (the Code) with respect to the provision of the Nokia 2730 handset.

Secondly, the file material showed that there were delays in connecting the customer’s landline, and the provider had acknowledged this. The adjudicator considered that the service was available as of 10 August, as the provider’s position was consistent with the customer’s statement about his use of service on 11 August.  The adjudicator upheld the provider’s claim that the records showed data transfer on the broadband connection as from 14 August. The adjudicator noted that the provider had apologised to the customer, and provided a credit for 2 months of land and broadband usage. The adjudicator considered that this was more than adequate compensation, and more than the adjudicator would have awarded in the circumstances.

Thirdly, the provider acknowledged that there were delays in the customer receiving his broadband connection, which were related to the difficulties in connecting the landline. The adjudicator was unable to uphold the customer’s complaint about the delivery of modem to the incorrect address, as the mailing address had been checked and confirmed as correct, and there was no record of the modem being sent to the wrong address. The adjudicator was also unable to uphold the customer’s complaint that his broadband service was connected only on 21 August, as the provider’s record of internet traffic on the customer’s line clearly showed that the broadband services were being used as from 14 August.

With regard to other issues, the documents supplied by the provider showed that the customer’s email account had been set up on 26 July. The adjudicator therefore recommended that if any issues remained, the customer should contact the provider’s help-desk for assistance in setting up the email service on his computer.  In addition, after listening to the audio recording of sales conversation, the adjudicator found it to be a clear recording of the conversation and found no reason to suspect that the recording had been altered in any way. 

Final outcome

The adjudicator concluded that there were delays in the connection and provision of landline and broadband services. The provider had already apologised and compensated the customer, which the adjudicator considered to be more than adequate in the circumstances. Therefore no further remedies were available to the customer under the Code.