Case Studies - Customer Service

TDR Case Note T016121


The Customer entered into a 24-month contract with the Scheme Member and received an iPhone with the package. He paid an amount of $612.95 and received a trade in of $366.00. The Customer entered into a further 24-month contract for his wife’s mobile phone connection. They received a trade-in of $131.00 and made a payment of $168.95. 

The Customer submitted he believed both phones to be fully paid for. He also submitted he was advised he had to enter into the 24-month arrangement because he did not have a credit history in New Zealand. He also gave details of issues relating to customer services issues such as failure to phone him back and incorrect information being given which led him to terminate the contracts early and incurring costs for early termination.  The debt was referred to a credit collection agency and the agency was given incorrect contact details for the Customer. 

The Scheme Member said it was clear in the contract that the phones were subsidized. Its terms and conditions allowed it to impose early termination fees and there is no evidence in the file of the Customer being given the wrong information. 

The Scheme Member made a settlement offer which was not accepted by the Customer. 

Adjudicator’s decision

The Adjudicator found that a debt of $1,568.05 was payable by the Customer. This is the final amount due of $1,768.05 less $200.00 which the Adjudicator awarded for the breaches of the Code because the Scheme Member had not met its obligations to be clear in its communications to Customers, deliver on promises and to use reasonable endeavours to provide service in a timely manner.  In making this award the Adjudicator relied on copies of text messages, provided by the Customer, confirming the conversations.

Final outcome

The complaint was partially upheld but the customer owed the balance of $1,568.05. If the amount was not paid within 3 weeks the matter could be referred back to the debt collection agency.