Common Complaint - Billing & Fees

Reconnection fees

Summary of the issue

TDR has received complaints from customers in relation to being charged fees to reconnect their telecommunication services, following a temporary suspension due to non-payment of their account.

Usual positions of the parties

Complaints brought to TDR relating to reconnection fees are normally brought by customers concerned that the fees are unreasonable, and seeking to have them waived. The Scheme Member typically takes the view that the charges are warranted in the circumstances, and seek to have those charges upheld by TDR.

TDR's view of the issue

TDR considers that when a Scheme Member has suspended a customer's service, due to a mistake or an administrative error, that the service should be reinstated without any additional charge to the customer, and without delay.

Otherwise, TDR considers that a Scheme Member may change its customer additional fees in reconnecting a service, providing those additional fees are allowed in the Scheme Member's terms and conditions, and these have been made reasonably available to the customer. That is consistent with Clause 13 of the NZ Telecommunications Forum Customer Complaints Code (the code). Where the service was suspended due to non-payment of the customer's account, TDR accepts that it is reasonable to expect all or part of that fee (at the Scheme Member's discretion) to be paid prior to the service being reconnected, in addition to any additional fee as discussed above.