Case Studies - Customer Service - Billing (including roaming)

Not-so-new number allocation

Having moved to another area, a customer was allocated a new phone number. Unfortunately, the number had previously been used by a business that had advertised in the Yellow Pages.

The customer began receiving phone calls from people trying to contact the business; some of them were not altogether pleasant.

The customer complained to his provider and a new phone number was allocated.

At the same time the customer queried some charges on his bill that appeared to have been accrued several months earlier. The customer made several calls to his provider, trying to resolve these issues. He was offered a goodwill credit but told his provider that he was not satisfied.

Frustrated, the customer contacted TDR and indicated he was seeking compensation for the stress and inconvenience he had been put though.

Before looking into the complaint TDR advised the customer that TDR cannot consider claims for compensation that are based on the following:

  1. loss of profits or indirect loss

  2. claims for pain and suffering

  3. loss of business reputation

  4. inconvenience and mental distress:

  5. costs involved in compiling or pursuing a complaint through the TDR process

TDR then set about exchanging written details between the two parties.

The Provider stated:

”As necessitated by this type of transfer (the customer) was allocated a new number for his new premises. Unfortunately (the customer) began to receive some business calls for a company that had been previously trading under the number he had been allocated.

Although there is a stand-down period prior to the allocation of numbers that were previously in use, from time to time this stand-down period is not sufficient to prevent unwanted calls. When this was highlighted by (the customer) as a concern, we allocated a new phone number and changed the service accordingly.

Although a change of number was performed, this did not affect the operation of the phone line and the customer retained full use of all services during this period.”

The provider also acknowledged that, due to a processing delay, the customer was not billed for all his services following his change of number. Although this did not affect the use of his services there was a delay of approximately three months before all incurred charges appeared on the customer’s account.

They said:

“Although we understand that the customer was unhappy that backdated charges were applied to his account, as per our Residential terms and conditions we do reserve the right to apply backdated charges.”

The customer was unhappy with his provider’s written response and so discussions were held with a TDR Conciliator.

Following the talks between the parties, the customer eventually decided to accept the offer that had been put on the table previously. A written agreement was exchanged and the complaint was closed.