Telco providers 'need to lift their game’

Telco providers 'need to lift their game’

Comes as complaints increase

Tristan Gilbertson (Commerce Commission)

Tristan Gilbertson (Commerce Commission)

Credit: Digical

Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson has said that the country’s telcos need to “lift their game” as the Commerce Commission calls for feedback on ways providers could be doing better. 

According to the competition watchdog, the number of consumer complaints about New Zealand’s telecommunications providers over the past year have increased.  

“The increase in complaints indicates that telecommunications providers need to lift their game to improve outcomes for consumers,” Gilbertson said. 

Now, the Commerce Commission is asking the public for its views on what telecommunications providers could do to address the increasing complaints about the sector.  

The Commission is asking for views on the key pain points being experienced by consumers and what needs to be done to address them, across all dimensions of the customer experience. 

These elements include selecting and buying telecommunications services, the day-to-day performance of the service and provider, changing to another provider and the complaints process.

“We’re asking for specific examples of the problems consumers are running into and views on how things could be done better. This will help us to understand what needs to change to make a meaningful difference for New Zealand consumers,” Gilbertson said. 

The Commission is also calling for views on how the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme could be improved for consumers as part of a formal review of these arrangements.  

ComCom will continue to accept feedback on consumer pain points and how they could be remedied until 26 February 2021, while feedback on the TDRS is due by 18 December 2020.

The Commission then aims to consult on proposed solutions to specific consumer pain points early next year.

The move comes after Parliament’s decision in 2018 to give the Commerce Commission new powers and a clear direction to improve consumer outcomes in retail telecommunications markets.

As such, the Commission's new powers cover the improvement of retail service quality (RSQ) across all relevant dimensions including customer service, faults, installation, contracts, product disclosure, billing, switching, service performance, speed and availability.

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