We receive complaints about Scheme Member’s which involve issues with connections, disconnections and restriction of service. Examples of these types of complaints include, but are not limited to:

  • New service connection (installation) has been unreasonably delayed
  • Technician has not turned up for an appointment to connect a service at a property
  • Service was not disconnected on the advised or agreed date
  • Service has been disconnected by mistake
  • Restriction of service without reasonable notice
  • Restriction or disconnection of service while the Customer was disputing the restriction, disconnection, or suspension, or while it was being reviewed
  • Termination fees (see also charges).

Scheme Member obligations

The following Codes may apply:

Customer Complaint Code

Disconnection Code 2016 (Voluntary code)

Copper Withdrawal Code

111 Contact Code

TDR’s view of the issue

A Scheme Member’s terms and conditions must set out the conditions under which a Customers’ services can be disconnected or restricted.

Scheme Member’s must make reasonable attempts to inform a customer of the impending disconnection or restriction of service(s). The Scheme Member must also give a reasonable warning in advance if a disconnection is taking place.

Additionally, Scheme Member’s that are also signatories of the TCF Disconnection Code 2016 should advise the customer of:

  • The reasons for the Scheme Member’s action
  • How much time a customer has to pay for the Services provided to them
  • The earliest date on which the disconnection could occur
  • Any additional reconnection costs which may be incurred by the Customer should their Services be restricted, suspended, or disconnected.

A Scheme Member may only suspend or restrict a service without informing the customer if the Scheme Member reasonably deems the customer’s activity to be malicious, illegal, to pose material threat to the Scheme Member’s network or to other users, or the account status represents an unusually high usage of calling or broadband.

Commerce Commission and Retail Service Quality Codes

Where TDR is noted as the dispute resolution scheme for a code, TDR will assist where there is a disagreement in relation to the rights and obligation of one of those parties under the code.

The Copper Withdrawal Code sets out the minimum consumer protection requirements that Chorus must comply with before withdrawing an end-user’s (the person who receives the service) copper service.

The 111 Contact Code ensures that vulnerable consumers, or persons on their behalf, have reasonable access to an appropriate means to contact the 111 emergency service in the event of a power failure.

Under both codes disputes may be brought to TDR if they remain unresolved 5 working days after an issue raised by either party to the other.

Dealing with the complaint

When we deal with complaints involving connection, disconnection, or restriction of services we consider the actions and events that led up to the complaint and fairness in all the circumstances.

To assess a complaint, we may ask for information from the customer and Scheme Member, including:

Connection Delay

  • What kind of service is being connected?
  • What date did the customer ask for the service to be connected?
  • Did the customer and Scheme Member agree on a connection date?
  • What is the cause and nature of the delay?
  • Were there circumstances outside the Scheme Member’s control, and what were the circumstances?
  • Has the customer or Scheme Member contributed to the delay?
  • What has been done to rectify the delay?
  • What is the effect of the delay?
  • Was the service connected and if so, when?

Disconnecting a service

  • Was there an agreed date to disconnect the service? Has this date passed?
  • What is the cause and nature of the delay?
  • What is the effect of the delay?

Restriction of services

  • Was notice provided to the customer?
  • Is there an ongoing dispute due to overdue charges?

Copper Withdrawal Code

  • Records of Chorus’ notice to the end-user
  • Responses to notices
  • Relevant dates related to the withdrawal process.

111 Contact Code

  • Correspondence between the parties
  • Completed vulnerable customer application and evidence
  • How the appropriate means is/is not suitable for the Customer’s situation.


When a service has not been connected the Scheme Member should address the impact of the delay on the customer. This may involve:

  • Connecting the service
  • Offering an interim service
  • Waiving service charges
  • Releasing a customer from contract without exit fees
  • Paying compensation.

When a service was not disconnected on an agreed date, the Scheme Member should address any detriment incurred because of the delay.

For example, if the customer is already in contract with and being charged by a new Scheme Member for the same service, the original Scheme Member should not be charging the customer beyond the agreed disconnection date.

When, in our view, a service was disconnected or restricted prematurely or because of a Scheme Member’s mistake, we expect the Scheme Member to reconnect the service if the customer wants this and address the impact of the disconnection on the customer.

The Scheme Member must not restrict or disconnect your service because of overdue charges that you are disputing with your Scheme Member through TDR.

A customer will have several responsibilities and obligations in relation to the services they receive which are set out in their contract with a Scheme Member. The terms and conditions should include but is not limited to:

  • The responsibility to keep the Scheme Member advised of their correct contact details and personal information,
  • Responsibilities in relation to their use of the service; and
  • Responsibilities in relation to payment of the service.

If the customer does not comply with their contractual obligations, then the Scheme Member will not necessarily be at fault.