The customer lodged a complaint with TDR, saying that she had spent an extraordinarily long time on the telephone trying to sort out problems with her internet when the fault was not hers. On the first occasion the provider had made an error on her account and on the second occasion she was disconnected and received a message to say that this was because her payment was overdue.
The second error by the provider caused significant disruption and embarrassment when a planned business appointment was not able to be kept and led to loss of income and a great deal of stress. The stress was exacerbated when the customer had to wait online for her call to be answered and redirected, a process that took 2 hours and 42 minutes.
The provider acknowledged the inconvenience but noted that on both occasions the call centre person had dealt with the problem efficiently and both calls had lasted no more than five minutes each. The provider offered the customer a goodwill payment of a part-month reduction in fees. The customer was not satisfied with this, and the matter was deadlocked which is the point in which TDR can escalate the complaint and provide more formal dispute resolution assistance.
A TDR practitioner was appointed and they discussed the matter with both parties and listened to the voice recordings of how the complaint call had been dealt with. They arranged for a mediation to be held, so both sides could share their perspectives and collaborate together on reaching an agreement.
The customer was aware that she was not able to make a claim for business loss but felt that the provider’s offer didn’t go far enough to acknowledge the stress involved in the overall situation.
The provider, although satisfied that the complaints had been dealt with swiftly, did appreciate that the wait times would have been stressful and agreed to extend the goodwill offer. The new offer was acceptable to the customer and the matter was settled at mediation.