2021 review of the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme
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The Commission is required to review each industry dispute resolution scheme at least once every 3 years and provide any recommendations to the scheme provider on how to improve the scheme.
There is currently one industry dispute resolution scheme which is called the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme (TDRS). The TDRS was set up by the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF) in 2007. The TCF is the scheme provider. The TCF:
created the Customer Complaints Code and the Terms of Reference for the TDR service, which together form the TDRS; and
appointed Fairway Resolution Limited as the dispute resolution provider for the TDRS.
We completed our first review of the TDRS on 11 November 2021 and published our report to the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum Inc. (TCF) on recommendations for improvements to the TDRS.
Our recommendations included changes to the TDRS Customer Complaints Code to better align the service with consumer expectations, improve the complaint handling process and reduce the time taken for disputes to be resolved. We also recommended governance changes to ensure the TDRS is independent and to establish and preserve clear lines of accountability.
Our review was conducted under Part 7 of the Telecommunications Act 2005 which concerns consumer matters, in particular telecommunications retail service quality (RSQ) codes, the 111 Contact Code, and dispute resolution schemes for Commission codes and industry RSQ codes.
Part 7 sets out a number of provisions aimed to improve RSQ to reflect the demands of end-users of telecommunications services. We have the ability to issue guidelines on RSQ, review industry RSQ codes and make Commission RSQ codes. We are also required to monitor RSQ and to make information available in a way that informs consumer choice.
Disputes in relation to Commission RSQ codes (either a Commission RSQ code or the 111 Contact Code) may be referred to an industry dispute resolution scheme. Disputes in relation to industry RSQ codes may also be referred to an industry dispute resolution scheme.
More information about how we conduct reviews of industry dispute resolution schemes can be found here.
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