Increasing reliance on internet reflected in latest customer complaints stats

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Telecommunications services have become a key staple of modern life. As consumers, we expect fast, ubiquitous access to the internet that allows us to get on with our digitally-connected lives.

The New Zealand telecommunications industry invests at one of the highest rates of the OECD; and is increasingly competitive on both price and quality compared to other countries. The industry provides world class fixed line and mobile services and is in the middle of a major roll-out of UFB services and facing unprecedented demand for these services.

With 7.4 million connections it is not surprising that the Commerce Commission Consumer Issues Report 2016 shows the telecommunications industry amongst the higher complained about industries, with 459 complaints recorded.

As the Report indicates, consumers have a growing reliance on being connected. The rapid uptake of smartphones has also driven higher demand for increased data, which the industry has responded to.

The industry goes to considerable length to resolve consumer complaints directly, and this year, TCF members have been recruiting additional call centre staff to assist with this process. There has also been a considerable amount of work amongst TCF members to improve the UFB installation process to ensure that having this service connected is as easy for the consumer as possible.

The TCF encourages anyone who feels their complaints have not been addressed by their service provider, including issues associated with the UFB roll-out, to approach the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Service (TDR) on 0508 98 98 98 or go to its website www.tdr.org.nz. The TDR service is free and independent and is available to assist small businesses and consumers resolve disputes with their telecommunications provider. Membership of the service is mandatory for all TCF members.