Case Studies

Third party charges

Weeks without an internet connection. Who pays for external IT support?

Despite ordering their home phone and internet several weeks prior to moving into their new home, Steve and Janice were still not connected after four weeks of technical and communication issues with their provider. Steve and Janice hired an IT Support Person, Gail, to assist them in getting connected and in sorting out their issues with their provider. Gail contacted Steve and Janice’s provider several times and was able to work with their provider to get Steve and Janice up and running.

Steve and Janice were then billed by Gail. Considering the length of time without a connection and the perceived lack of support provided, Steve and Janice believed that their provider should contribute towards the cost of Gail’s work and offer compensation for poor customer service, time without internet, and the inconvenience of having to continually contact their provider.

As a gesture of good will, the provider initially agreed to pay a portion of Gail’s bill (covering the two month period without working internet) and provided Steve and Janice with three months’ worth of credit: one month for the time without a connection and two months as an additional good will offer. Steve and Janice declined the offer. They wished for Gail’s full bill of approximately $500 to be paid by the provider as well as an additional two months’ credit. 

Steven and Janice then contacted TDR. As Steve, Janice and the provider had already exhausted attempts to resolve the complaint themselves, it was assigned to a TDR Resolution Practitioner.

The first step in the resolution process was mediation. However, this was unsuccessful in this case. The next step involved the Resolution Practitioner reviewing all the available information and making a decision on the matter.

The Resolution Practitioner issued a decision which found Steve and Janice’s complaint was partially upheld.

TDR’s Resolution Practitioner found that there was no legal basis for Steve and Janice’s provider to pay for Gail’s services. That portion of Steve and Janice’s complaint was declined. 

However, the Practitioner did find that the provider was in breach of section 5.1.3 of the Customer Complaints Code which states:

“Scheme Members will be clear in their communications to Customers; deliver on promises and will use reasonable endeavours to provide service in a timely manner …”

The Resolution Practitioner determined that the provider had not met this requirement and determined that the credits the provider had already provided to Steve and Janice (totalling five months of credit) was an appropriate remedy. The decision was accepted.

 

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