Telco groups hit back at Commerce Commission report

Telcos see no problem from growth in consumer complaints

The Telecommunications Forum (TCF) – the body representing New Zealand telcos – has hit back at the Commerce Commission’s reportof an increase in the number of complaints from consumers about their telecom services, claiming that the industry is delivering “world class” service.

Last month the Commission released its 2016 Consumer Issues Report, saying it showed telecommunications to be one of the most complained about industries in 2016, and that complaints under the Fair Trading Act about telecommunications providers had increased by 20 percent from 2014, and had doubled from 2013 levels.

TCF CEO, Geoff Thorn, blamed the increase in complaints on increased awareness of the complaints registration service. “The scheme has been actively promoted by the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme, particularly online,” Thorn said.

“Customers now know where to go for help in resolving their telecommunications issues and this is encouraging. Because the TDRS exists, consumers have a means of escalating unresolved issues in a results-oriented manner.”

He added: “The TDRS has also proven to be flexible in its ability to adapt to market changes. An excellent example of this is the inclusion of UFB related complaints within the scope of the scheme.”

Thorn pointed out that New Zealand is one of very few countries offering nationwide gigabit services to consumers via the UFB network, saying: This kind of innovation is putting us ahead of many other global service providers.”

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