Mobile, broadband and home phone information from TDR for the first half of 2020.
In March 2020, the delivery of telecommunications services became more important than ever. When the global pandemic reached our shores, our country went into lockdown. In our bubbles, access to broadband, mobile and home phone services kept us connected and kept the nation humming.
Our free and independent service remained open during the lockdown. The FairWay and Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR) team began working from home and operating our services through a virtual office. In the earlier stages of lockdown, complaints to TDR significantly reduced. We did expect to see a drop for a couple of reasons. Firstly, people had other matters front of mind in those first few weeks of lockdown. Secondly, many TDR members took extra steps to help Kiwis through the lockdown – including offering more flexibility and increasing or removing caps for some services.
Customers usually raise matters directly with their telecommunications provider in the first instance and work through things together – so there can be a gap between when the issue occurs and when they get in touch with TDR. When the alert levels reduced, we did begin to see a slight increase in complaints coming through, including some complaints specifically about the lockdown period.
I often get asked if I have any advice for consumers. My main tip is if you experience a problem, to know that it is okay to complain and to ask questions. Don’t be embarrassed if you think your issue is small or you can’t fix it yourself, that’s normal - you are not alone. If you continue to have issues with your provider, TDR is just a phone call or email away. 1,234 Kiwis had their matter resolved or closed with some assistance from TDR in the first half of 2020.
From our experience, billing and customer service are two of the main areas that drive complaints in the telecommunications industry. Compared to the last reporting period, customer service complaints are on the rise from 25.7% to 40.3% of enquiries received.
TDR is here to help. Whether it’s a broadband, mobile and home phone issue, it’s free to resolve your complaint with TDR. It’s easy - most cases coming to TDR are quickly resolved allowing you to get back to normal service. In fact, only 1.9% of cases required the assistance of TDR’s facilitators, mediators and adjudicators from January to June 2020.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated December 2020
Please note that sections of this report have been updated following changes to the methodology used to calculate connections and complaints apportioned per 10k connections.
To provide consumers with context for the volume of complaints and enquiries received by TDR, TDR apportions the data per 10,000 connections. In previous reports the providers’ connection data was calculated using information from the Commerce Commission Annual Telecommunications Monitoring Report. While this data is accurate, it relates to a fixed point in time and does not align with TDR’s reporting period.
TDR has since engaged IDC New Zealand to provide us with connection data from IDC’s Telecommunications Market Tracker related to the specific reporting period. Using the latest available information enables TDR to portray a more accurate snapshot at that point in time.
We decided to update and reissue the report for the period of 1 Jan – 30 June 2020 so consumers can accurately compare like for like data when the report for 1 July – 31 December 2020 is released in early 2021.
TDR Biannual Report - 2020 Part One
The following resources are available to download as PDF documents: