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​Telcos under fire as Kiwis bemoan lack of customer service

​Telcos under fire as Kiwis bemoan lack of customer service

One out of every four consumer across the country encountered a billing dispute with their internet company in the past year.

Internet and mobile companies across New Zealand struggle with the basics of customer service, such as ensuring their customers’ bills are accurate.

That’s according to latest Consumer NZ findings, which claims that one out of every four consumer across the country has encountered a billing dispute with their internet company in the past year.

“To make matters worse, ironing out disputes can be incredibly frustrating,” Consumer NZ CEO, Sue Chetwin, said.

“Nearly two-thirds of consumers experienced lengthy delays to speak with a customer service rep.”

Furthermore, findings show that about a third of consumers who had switched to ultra-fast broadband in the past year had encountered problems.

According to Chetwin, the biggest bugbear was unmet timeframes for installation, an issue for 23 per cent.

Meanwhile, other problems included poorly restored property following installation and damaged property during installation.

Of the seven internet companies in the survey, Flip rated best for overall satisfaction: 64 per cent of its customers were very satisfied with the service they received, with Slingshot and Orcon the next cabs off the rank.

Overall, 58 per cent of Slingshot customers and 53 per cent of Orcon customers were very satisfied.

Delving deeper, Spark and Vodafone, the two largest players, trailed the field - only 43 per cent of Spark customers and 41 per cent of Vodafone customers were very satisfied with their retailer.

Both companies scored comparatively poorly when it came to value for money.

Mobile

Among mobile companies, Skinny Mobile (a division of Spark) had the most satisfied customers: 69 per cent were very satisfied with the service they received, compared to Spark which had an overall satisfaction rating of 53 per cent.

Vodafone lagged behind the other major mobile companies with a satisfaction rating of 50 per cent - its customers were more likely than average to strike unexpected charges and inaccurate bills.

Most consumers (62 per cent) had a prepay mobile plan as opposed to a fixed- or open-term account plan with consumers with prepay plans more likely than those on post-pay plans to agree they were getting very good value for money.

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