The Telecommunications Dispute Resolution service (TDR) has received more than 5261 calls since its establishment on 30 November 2007, with the quarterly average number of calls received steadily rising from 204 in 2008 to 263 in 2009.
And customers are satisfied – very satisfied. Independent research (MMResearch) shows that 93% of people using the TDR service would recommend it to their friends, a further 90% said they were satisfied with how their complaint was handled, and 86% said the process was fair and impartial.
TDR is an independent service for residential and small business consumers who are unable to resolve a complaint with their telecommunication company.
The service is free, and can be used by any consumer whose telecommunications company is a member of the TDR scheme. Companies currently signed up to TDR account for more than 98% of the total residential and small business telecommunication consumer market.
TDR Council chairman, consumer advocate David Russell, is impressed with the performance of the scheme in its first two years, but says it still has a way to go educating consumers how the scheme works.
“As people have heard about TDR’s services the number of calls received has increased, but so has the percentage referred back to the telecommunication company involved,” he said.
That’s because TDR steps in only after a consumer has already been through the telecommunication company’s complaints process.
“Consumers must have raised their complaint with their telecommunication company first, and given the company a chance to respond. If the consumer is not happy with the outcome, or it is more than six weeks to since the consumer has heard from the telecommunication company, TDR can get involved,” says Mr Russell.
Common types of complaints, this year, include customer service (17%) and faults (14%), but the greatest number (40%) are generally in the area of billing. This includes disputed amounts and responsibility for payment, along with data usage, credit adjustment issues and account errors.
You can contact TDR through the website TDR.org.nz, or freephone 0508 98 98 98.