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TCF Reviews Dispute Resolution Scheme For Future Use

The New Zealand Telecommunations Forum welcomes the recommendations set out in the Commerce Commision’s final report into the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution service.

TCF Chief Executive Paul Brislen says we have already begun a programme of work to upgrade the TDR so it continues to meet the needs of the telecommunications consumers in the future.

“We were pleased to see the Commerce Commission took on board our recommendations on how to implement the changes through a phased approach.”

The scheme was introduced 14 years ago and since then the world has moved on significantly. With more than six million mobile connections and nearly 1.8 million fixed line connections, consumers rely on their telecommunications services as a lifeline to the world outside.

“The industry has changed since the TDR inception in 200 in the past two decades and consumers now see telecommunications as an essential service. To that end we need to ensure the TDR is fit for purpose for the next two decades and beyond,” says Brislen.

The Commerce Commission is required to review the TDR scheme at least once every three years as part of the Telecommunications Act.

The number of complaints received by the TDR has grown on average by 14% year on year. In 2019/20, the TDR resolved 2,812 complaints and enquiries from consumers.

“I’m pleased to say that 98 percent of the enquiries were resolved promptly with service providers working directly with customers and requiring no further action from the TDR,” says Brislen.

The new standard is for any resolution scheme to be independent of the industry it oversees and the TCF will work with the TDR Council to build a model that works for customers and industry alike.

“Currently, consumers are given contradictory messages about who to contact if they have issues with their provider – we want to make these processes as clear as possible for consumers and we support the Commission’s view about having a one-stop shop for consumers to resolve their complaints.”

Consumers can contact the TDR on 0508 98 98 98 or at tdr.org.nz

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