Key Issues Identified For First Review Of Telco Dispute Resolution Scheme

Credit: Original article can be found here

The Commerce Commission has published a paper outlining
the key issues it intends to focus on for its first review
of the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme
(TDRS).

The Commission is required to review the TDRS
at least once every three years and to report on any
recommendations for improving the scheme.

“Getting
prompt and effective resolution of any problems consumers
can’t resolve directly with their telecommunications
providers is a critical part of ensuring consumer
satisfaction with their service,” Telecommunications
Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson says.

The key issues
the Commission has identified have been shaped by feedback
from industry, consumers and community groups about aspects
of the TDRS that work well, and those that could be
improved.

“Consumer awareness of the service, the
scheme’s ability to address systemic issues to improve
outcomes for consumers and the complaint handling process
are all important issues for us to consider,” Mr
Gilbertson says.

“We will also look at the
governance arrangements and independence of the
industry-funded scheme, as well as the different types of
memberships and the types of matters currently not covered
by the scheme.

“At the end of our review, we will
provide recommendations for any improvements to the scheme
and set dates for when we expect to see those improvements
implemented. If our recommendations are not implemented
satisfactorily, we must report to the Minister, who may then
introduce an alternative statutory dispute resolution
scheme.”

The Commission has engaged cameron. ralph.
khoury (CRK) as its independent expert to assist in
conducting the review. CRK has conducted independent reviews
of external complaints handling schemes in Australia, New
Zealand and Canada, including the 2017 review of the
Australian Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

The
Commission will release a draft report for consultation
around September, before publishing a final report in
November.

The key issues paper can be found on the
Commission’s website.

Background

The
TDRS was established in 2007 by the New Zealand
Telecommunications Forum (TCF), which is the industry body
representing the majority of New Zealand’s
telecommunications providers. The TDRS is designed to
provide independent resolution of disputes. Consumers whose
telecommunications providers are members of the scheme can
take disputes with their telecommunications provider to the
TDRS, which then works to find a resolution between the
telecommunications provider and consumer. FairWay Resolution
Limited is the dispute resolution provider for the
scheme.

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