Fibre installation: Miscommunication and false information
Lee* ordered an internet service connection for his new house. The connection process sounded straightforward, and Lee was looking forward to enjoying his favourite movie and TV streaming apps again.
Unfortunately, neither the connection process nor the billing proceeded smoothly. The first issue occurred when the fibre installer incorrectly determined that Lee needed to install a service lead, which would cost Lee close to $250 extra. Lee paid the fee, keen to get his internet up and running.
The service lead was not actually needed, though. This, along with miscommunications from the fibre installer and between Lee and his telecommunications provider, meant that there was a nine-week delay in installing Lee’s internet service and that Lee had paid for services he did not need.
Lee’s primary issues were resolved directly by his provider. The provider gave Lee an account credit and a written apology. However, other issues lingered for Lee around the service he received. Lee contacted TDR for help.
After Lee and his provider attempted to resolve the remaining issues and were unable to do so, TDR assigned the complaint to one of its adjudicators. The adjudicator looked at several issues, including whether the provider had treated Lee fairly and courteously; acted timely to resolve issues; kept him informed with up-to-date information; and engaged fairly in the dispute resolution process. The adjudicator upheld one aspect of Lee’s complaint about the service he received: the provider had breached its obligation to keep Lee informed with up-to-date information.
In reaching this determination, the adjudicator noted that there was a significant amount of confusion between Lee’s provider and the fibre installer about who was responsible for certain payments, how the work was to be scheduled, and who the customer should be speaking to about installation issues. It was also not clear what work had been carried out on Lee’s property already and what was outstanding. However, the provider became aware that a service lead would not have to be installed but did not confirm this for Lee until nearly six weeks later.
As the provider had already issued an account credit for slightly more than what Lee paid and issued a written apology to him for the experience, the adjudicator found that no further action was required.
As previously highlighted, fibre installation complaints has been one of key issues this year. TDR advised the industry of the issue and the industry responded. The TCF is preparing a code for fibre installation.
*Names have been changed to protect our customers’ identities