FutureFive New Zealand logo
Story image

NZ telco industry welcomes ComCom review into dispute resolution scheme

The New Zealand telco industry is throwing its support behind the Commerce Commission's review into the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme, according to the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum. 

The TDR is an independent service, free for residential and small business customers, which helps consumers resolve complaints with their telecommunications provider.

"The telecommunications industry is looking forward to engaging with the Commerce Commission over the coming months on its review of the TDR," NZTF says. 

Due to recent changes to the Telecommunications Act, the Commerce Commission is required to review the TDR scheme at least once every three years. The Commission published an issues paper this week and has to complete its review by 13 November 2021.

“We believe there is always room for improvement, and we hope this review process results in a strengthened TDR scheme that is able to help even more New Zealanders if they encounter issues with their telecommunications services,” says TCF chief executive, Geoff Thorn.

During 2020, TDR assisted more than 2,200 New Zealanders to resolve their enquiries and complaints with their broadband, mobile or home phone provider. 

"It is pleasing that the vast majority of these cases were resolved directly by the provider after initial assistance and referral by TDR, with less than 2% of all cases requiring facilitation, mediation or adjudication by TDR," says Thorn.

“There are nearly eight million telecommunications connections in New Zealand and the increasing complexity of technology, combined with the ever-growing reliance by consumers on their telecommunications services, means providers are continually working to improve their service levels and meet rising customer expectations," he explains.

Thorn says global industry surveys have consistently shown New Zealand mobile consumers are "well served by world-class telecommunications", following $15 billion worth of investment in networks and services over the past decade. That has seen New Zealand rise to third place in the world rankings for mobile services and twelfth place for overall digital connectivity.

The NZ Telecommunications Forum was established in 2002 and plays a vital role in the telecommunications industry in New Zealand, collaboratively developing key industry standards and codes of practice that underpin the country’s digital economy.  

"Our objective is to actively foster cooperation among the telecommunications industry’s participants, to enable the efficient provision of regulated and non-regulated telecommunications services," it says.

TCF Members include 2degrees, AWACS, Chorus, Enable Networks, Kordia, Northpower Fibre, NOW, Spark, Symbio Networks, Trustpower, Ultrafast Fibre, UnisonFibre, Vector Communications, Vocus Communications and Vodafone. WISPA-NZ, which represents 28 Wireless Internet Service Providers, is an Associate Member of TCF.