Putariki* had been a customer of his provider for three years. He noticed his monthly invoice increased, so he called his provider to find out what was going on. He was informed that the term of his fixed contract was over, so some discounts no longer applied. He was told that he would have to agree to a new plan and contract term to receive further discounts. After this conversation, Putariki agreed to an amount of $62.99 per month for home phone and broadband services. He was advised that everything was confirmed and all he had to do was wait for the new invoice which would show the new price. Unfortunately, the next month’s invoice did not match the agreed amount.

Putariki spent the next four weeks contacting his provider advising them that the amount was wrong, and it should be corrected. The representatives he spoke to were unable to confirm that the pricing was wrong and did not understand there was an issue. Putariki was promised that his complaint would be escalated, and he would be called back, but this did not occur. After the constant toing and froing, and receiving another month of incorrect billing, Putariki felt like he was not being heard and decided to submit a complaint through TDR.

Because it had only been four weeks since Putariki had first raised the billing issue with his provider, TDR gathered the complaint details from Putariki and forwarded the information to his provider to respond to. TDR scheme members have up to six weeks to resolve a complaint directly with their customers before a complaint is ‘deadlocked’ and can enter TDR’s formal complaint process. TDR explained the timeframes allowed under the Customer Complaints Code and advised Putariki to expect contact from his provider within five working days.

Two days after receiving the complaint from TDR, the provider contacted Putariki acknowledging that the invoices were incorrect and the customer service he had received was unsatisfactory, noting that Putariki should not have had to contact TDR to resolve the issue.

Putariki was extremely pleased with the quick turnaround from his provider after contacting TDR.

In the first half of 2019 89.6% of complaints were resolved directly by scheme members after being notified of the complaint by TDR.

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