Case Studies - Faults (network & hardware issues) - Network performance

Service not up to scratch

Customer with slow and sometimes even no internet and phone services requests refund.

Patricia signed up for home phone and ADSL broadband services. She lives in a rural area where the copper line is connected to a very old exchange which is shared by all users in the area. This means Patricia often has to deal with slow and, at times, no broadband.

Patricia had, over the last few years, continually advised her provider that the phone line, broadband, or both, where not working. Numerous faults were lodged, and many technicians attempted to get the services up and running, but none were able to keep the line stable.

Patricia then submitted a complaint with TDR claiming her provider had not done enough to resolve the issues. Considering the lack of connection, she asked to be refunded the charges where her services had been down for most of a month.

After a brief facilitation period, it was clear that the case was deadlocked so it was assigned to a TDR Resolution Practitioner.

The Resolution Practitioner worked with the customer and her provider. Patricia had been very proactive with her complaint - she had accumulated and filed a lot of relevant evidence relating to the lack of service and what her provider had, and had not, done to remedy the issues.

Mediation was unsuccessful, so the Resolution Practitioner issued a decision based on the conversations she had with the parties and the documentation provided. They determined, under the Consumer Guarantees Act, Patricia was not provided with services to an "acceptable quality". Patricia had been able to show the dates of disconnection, contact where she had attempted to remedy the issue, credits or offers given to her during disconnections and proof of poor record keeping by the provider.

Patricia’s complaint was upheld and her provider was directed to provide a credit equal to 12 months of service.