In 2020 telecommunications played a bigger role in lives than ever before. With the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown periods, we heavily relied on our phones to connect, work and play. Even before the pandemic, we adopted new digital ways of doing things. Thinking back to the latter part of 2019, many households streamed Rugby World Cup games online. Now, more than ever, we depend on telecommunication services.
When things go wrong, you expect someone to set them right. TDR is here if you can’t resolve a matter directly with your telecommunications provider. Our service is free and independent; and it’s OK to call, even if it’s just to check an issue or ask a question. Even during lockdown periods, we can assist. The FairWay and TDR team began working from home and operating our services through a virtual office. Even at Alert Level 4, the TDR facilitated and resolved complaints online.
While New Zealand has relied heavily on telecommunications over the past 12 months, the great news is that we haven’t seen a significant increase in complaints. Despite the increased digital demand, we received just under 13% more enquiries and complaints compared to last year. Of those 98% (2752) were resolved or closed in our early stages, often after just a single phone call to TDR. A major factor is that TDR’s people know exactly who to talk to at the telecommunications company to get an issue sorted, or can provide the right information to the customer then and there so they can address it themselves.
Of those remaining 2% of complaints and enquiries, TDR helped sort things out. Our expert facilitators and mediators assisted 33 people (1%) to resolve matters collaboratively and made a decision on the remaining 27 matters (1%) that could not be resolved mutually.
Customers who get in touch with TDR can rest assured that they will be in safe hands. 89% of overall complainants were very satisfied or satisfied with their TDR experience. 91% of our customer survey respondents strongly agreed or agreed that TDR staff are friendly and courteous. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback through our regular customer surveys, and this shows the value in giving people the chance to be heard and get some help.
Billing remains the top complaint theme with 958 matters resolved, as it has year for year since 2007. However, customer service has jumped to a very closed second with 899 matters resolved this year. The main customer service complaint driver has been a failure to action requests, with customers having to ask multiple times. TDR has noticed this trend develop over the past 18 months or so. We’ll be raising this trend in our focus groups with TDR members. We will also be reviewing the way in which we capture information so we can better understand what the drivers behind emerging trends are.
While only a small portion of all telecommunications consumers may need our services, it is important that they have access to a free and independent service. New Zealanders can feel reassured that they are not alone, and that TDR can help them resolve their issue much more quickly than they might if they were doing it on their own.
TDR Annual Report
TDR's 2020 Annual Report is available to download as a PDF document.
You can download the report here: TDR Annual Report 2019/20.