Case Studies - Faults (network & hardware issues)

Internet issue and bad behaviour

Business owner’s complaint not accepted due to bad behaviour

The TDR service is available to both residential and small business (less than 20 full-time employees) customers of telecommunications providers.

A business owner ran a store where most payments were made by EFTPOS.  The internet stopped working in his shop which meant he was unable to complete transactions. The owner called his provider to log a fault, where it was discovered that his modem was faulty and required replacement.  An urgent request was made for a modem to be sent out and the provider advised it can take anywhere between 24 to 48 hours for this to arrive.

This delay upset the business owner greatly because of the potential loss of revenue from not being able to take payments by card. 

The modem did not arrive the next day, so the owner rang his provider. He was irate and became abusive to the point where the provider had to terminate the call and restrict communication with the business owner to email only.

The modem arrived the next day and the customer was able to get connected.  However, the customer submitted a complaint to TDR claiming their provider had failed to provide the service they had paid for and that they should receive a formal apology and compensation for business losses.

The complaint was quickly confirmed as deadlocked* and submissions were submitted by both the business owner and the provider including the phone calls made to the provider from the customer.

The Customer Complaints Code notes that it may not be reasonable in certain circumstances to proceed with a complaint if TDR considers that a customer has been or is being; abusive, threatening, indecent or has acted in bad faith in attempting to resolve a complaint. In addition, TDR is unable to award compensation for indirect loss. As a result of these two factors, the complaint was ruled outside of TDR jurisdiction.


* Deadlock is when a complaint has been raised with a telecommunications company and has come to the end of the company's internal complaints procedure without being resolved, or when it's been six weeks or more since the customer contacted the company and the customer still doesn't have a resolution they are happy with, whichever comes first.