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Telecommunications Dispute Scheme

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister for Communications and Information Technology

3 December 2007 Media Statement

Telecommunications Dispute Scheme

New Zealand’s first independent telecommunications disputes resolution scheme has been welcomed by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology David Cunliffe as a great example of industry self policing.

The scheme and associated Customer Complaints Code have been established by an industry working party of the Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF). It will provide prompt, independent resolution of disputes .

“I often receive letters from frustrated customers who just want their concerns to be heard and dealt with appropriately. The Scheme will give customers certainty in how their complaint will be dealt with, and give them a mechanism for making those complaints”, the Minister said.

Dispute Resolution Services Limited (DRSL) has been appointed the independent scheme agent. DRSL’s role will include looking after the day-to-day running of the Scheme, investigating valid customer disputes, and encouraging good practice for the handling of customer complaints by participating telecommunications companies.

The self-regulating Scheme has been developed by industry members, and as a result has received wide support. The Minister noted he was pleased that the scheme has strong consumer representation on its governing council.

“I am pleased that it’s not just the major telecommunications companies that have signed up to the scheme. It’s also the smaller players such as Airnet, Digital Island, Eziphone, Igrin Internet and Snap Internet. The willingness of these emerging companies to be part of the scheme shows great commitment to providing excellent customer service”, said Mr Cunliffe.

“For the scheme to be successful, it must establish and maintain a track record of robustly handling consumer complaints to ensure appropriate service provider performance”.

Further information on the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme is available on the TCF website: www.tcf.org.nz


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