Case Studies

Online gaming disruption

Connectivity interruptions over the holiday period.

Margaret* had been looking forward to the Christmas holidays because it meant that she could enjoy uninterrupted gaming time via her internet. She had switched to her current internet provider because of advertising that she’d seen about her provider’s internet and because of promises she said the provider had made to her at the time she signed up.

However, instead of uninterrupted gaming time, Margaret experienced frequent difficulties and connectivity interruptions over the holiday period which fluctuated widely depending on the day. 

Margaret complained to TDR. She requested compensation for her time and trouble in sorting out the issues. When Margaret and her internet provider were not able to reach agreement on their own, a TDR mediator stepped in to assist. 

One of the first discussions was whether any promises had been made to Margaret about speed and connectivity. The TDR Consumer Complaint Code excludes complaints about internet speed and connectivity in most circumstances. One exception to that is when a provider makes specific promises or guarantees about internet speeds or connection time. Margaret was unable to provide any evidence of guarantees about internet speeds or connectivity.

The mediator then looked at the advertising and the contract’s terms and conditions with Margaret and her provider. There were specific notes/exclusions in both about internet speeds and connectivity. 

That was not the end of the discussion, however. Margaret’s provider was sympathetic to her experience and offered a ‘goodwill’ payment to her, which also included a refund for a portion of her charges during the Christmas period. Margaret accepted the payment and both considered the complaint resolved. 

*Names have been changed to protect our customers’ identities.