The release of the 2023 Annual Report of Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR) marked a significant turning point in New Zealand's telecom industry. The report not only unveiled a remarkable surge in complaints but also provided a valuable overview of the challenges faced over the past year.
The most astounding revelation within the report was the skyrocketing demand for TDR's services. In 2023, an astonishing 3,725 individuals sought assistance in resolving their home, mobile phone, and internet issues, representing a remarkable 64% increase from the previous year. This recent surge in demand was unprecedented and was largely attributed to TDR's dedicated efforts in raising awareness about their services. The TDR report summary expressed, "We have been working diligently to improve awareness, and it is gratifying to witness this reflected in our interactions."
Billing disputes emerged as the most prevalent issue handled by TDR annually, with an astounding 1,511 billing complaints received in the year, constituting 40.6% of all complaints. Among these, 867 cases involved disputed charges. However, TDR's scope extends beyond billing issues, as they also offer support for various concerns such as unacceptable customer service, installation delays, and faults experienced. In the past year, customer service issues have accounted for 18.5% of complaints, while faults and installation complaints made up 16.1% and 11.7%, respectively.
TDR's primary goal is to resolve issues promptly to minimize inconvenience. Impressively, the majority of complaints were resolved swiftly, often within days. A remarkable 97.5%, or 3,413 complaints, were resolved or closed during the initial, informal process, where TDR communicated the complaint to the telecom provider. Only 88 cases required formal dispute resolution, such as facilitation, mediation, or a decision by TDR.
The TDR team emphasized that the report serves as a tool to better educate the public about their capabilities and how they can assist in resolving issues. They encouraged feedback and suggestions to improve their service and reports and urged the public to stay in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those interested in a more in-depth analysis of TDR's telecommunication dispute resolution efforts, the full 2022-2023 TDR Annual Report is available online. TDR also reminded individuals that, should they be unable to resolve complaints with their telecommunications provider or find themselves in a dispute, they are welcome to get in touch through their website or freephone number, ensuring that Kiwis continue to have a reliable resource to address their telecom concerns.