TDR Biannual Report – 2021 Part One

Monday, November 15, 2021

TDR has released its report for the first half of 2021. Each day, our team help Kiwis to resolve issues with their broadband, mobile and home phone providers. Every six months Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR) shares information on what we’re seeing.

Overview of this period

In this report we provide insights from 1 January to 30 June 2021, when our team received 935 complaints and enquiries. In the same period 953 cases were resolved or closed with assistance from TDR’s team of Resolution Coordinators and Resolution Practitioners. Most matters (932 cases or 97.8%) were resolved or closed directly with the provider after initial assistance and referral by TDR. For the remaining cases, 9 were resolved through facilitation and mediation (0.9%), and 12 (1.3%) required TDR to make a decision.

Overall, numbers are trending down. In the same period in 2020, we received 32% more enquiries and complaints (1231) although this was a time where we were navigating the pandemic and lockdown. Over a year later, much has changed but we are ever reliant on technology to keep us connected. Working from home has become the new normal for many us. Recently we’ve had Level 4, Level 3 and Level 2 restrictions depending on where you live. TDR remains open across all Alert Levels, and our team in Auckland remain working from home and delivering our services remotely during this Delta outbreak.

In the first half of 2021, the types of complaints and enquiries received continued in a similar vein as previous years. Complaints about billing matters (428 cases or 45.8% of matters received) and customer service (180 cases or 19.3% of matters received) continue to be the top reasons why people complain. Looking further into these two categories we have seen the main billing issue is disputed charges (271 cases or 29% of all matters received) while in customer service it is either a lack of or an incorrect action (106 cases or 11% of a matters received) taken by providers, which leads to a complaint or escalation of an existing issue.

New codes

In this report we have two new complaints categories as we now provide dispute resolution services for two new Commerce Commission codes. The 111 Contact Code came into effect in February to support vulnerable consumers using modern landline technologies in being able to contact emergency services in a power cut.

TDR is here to help with any disputes relating to the 111 Contact Code. Our service is open to customers of all home phone service providers, regardless of who your provider is. Any disagreements or complaints in relation to the rights and obligations of the parties under the 111 Contact Code can be referred to TDR if they remain unresolved after 5 working days. We received five cases under this new code in this period.

The Copper Withdrawal Code came into force on 1 March 2021. It outlines the responsibilities for Chorus, who operate the wholesale copper telecommunications network, when withdrawing copper services from an area.

Consumers can complain to Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR) if they have a complaint about their telecommunications provider’s responsibilities or obligations under the code or if they claim Chorus has not complied with the code when withdrawing copper services from an area. The code came into effect on 1 March 2021 however Chorus will not be able to stop supplying copper services until 1 September 2021 at the earliest, so we did not receive any complaints in this period. Under the Customer Complaints Code, 111 Contact Code and Copper Withdrawal Code it is free for consumers to use our service.

Feedback

We hope this report provides you with a useful snapshot of trends within the sector and how TDR is here to help. We welcome your suggestions on how to improve our service and reports, so please feel free to get in touch with us by email at contact@tdr.org.nz.
 

TDR Biannual Report - 2021 Part One

Please download file below:

TDR Biannual Report – Jan to June 2021

 

About TDR

Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR) is a free, independent service to help consumers with complaints about their telecommunications provider.

TDR helps consumers to progress their complaint with the telco or can intervene directly when a customer and their telco cannot resolve the issue.

Established in 2007 by the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum, TDR can help resolve complaints from residential and small business (less than 20 full-time employees) customers of our scheme members.

TDR is operated by Fair Way, New Zealand’s largest specialist conflict management company, with a team of over 200 people throughout New Zealand.