Common Complaint - Billing & Fees

Charges Scheme Members choose to set

Summary of the issue

TDR applies the NZ Telecommunications Forum Customer Complaints Code (the Code). There are some types of complaints TDR cannot consider, as they are excluded in the Code. One of those is when the complaint relates to “charges Scheme Members choose to set”. That exclusion is found in Clause 20.1.e of the Code.

From time to time, issues arise as to how that exclusion should be interpreted. The purpose of this position statement is to clarify how TDR interprets that Clause.

TDR’s interpretation

TDR interprets that exclusion narrowly, to relate to specific charges for particular services. For example, TDR considers the following circumstances would be excluded, as they would be charges the Scheme Member chooses to set:

  • price per minute of phone calls, or per unit of data
  • level of an early termination fee as found in the contract
  • quoted price for installation or provision of services (installing cables for example)

However, TDR does not consider the following as being excluded as charges the Scheme Member chooses to set:

  • the level of an account, if the basis for the account is in dispute. For example the Customer disputes using the level of data they have been charged for, or considers it has been charged at a higher rate than the contract would allow
  • the ability of the Scheme Member to charge for certain things. For example, the Customer may dispute that there is ability under the contract to charge for text messages or hardware repair costs