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Phone Complaints Code Step Nearer

22 November 2005

Phone Complaints Code Step Nearer

Farmers applaud a proposed code for dealing with telecommunications complaints, said Hugh Ritchie of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

The code put forward by a telecommunications industry body is designed to give customers an independent and free method for handling complaints, and proposes fines of up to $10,000.

"Federated Farmers is pleased that the industry has produced a draft code for handling complaints by both consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses, including farmers," said Mr Ritchie.

"We receive many calls a year from farmers concerned about the level of service in rural areas. These range from electric fence interference, delays in fixing lines after bad weather, and problems getting a basic telephone line.

"We have been calling for years for a 'one-stop shop' to hear and resolve these types of issues. The code takes us one step closer.

"There are good models working in other sectors which could easily be applied to the telecommunications sector. For example, the disputes resolution process in the electricity sector works very well and is a low cost regime. A similar mechanism among telcos is long overdue," he said.

Hugh Ritchie is a Federated Farmers national board member and its telecommunications' spokesperson.

ENDS

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