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Watchdog expects telecommunications retail service issues to be addressed

By RNZ, 15 Sep 2021

The Commerce Commission wants to see an improvement in the quality of retail services offered by the telecommunications industry.

Telecommunications commissioner Tristan Gilbertson said a survey of consumers indicated the issues were far-reaching and spanned all stages of the telecommunications service lifecycle, from advertising, marketing and engagement, through to billing and customer service, closing accounts and switching providers.

"Competition continues to deliver a range of benefits to telecommunications consumers in New Zealand, but it has not addressed all of the retail service quality issues that matter to consumers," he said.

The commission was already working with the industry to improve their services, he added.

"We've all got a big job ahead of us in this area, but we're off to a positive start in terms of industry engagement, and I'm looking forward to seeing the necessary focus and resource being applied to this work by telecommunications providers to ensure its success."

Gilbertson said the commission had new powers to make changes.

The Telecommunications Forum, representing the industry, said it welcomed the commission's survey, which indicated 78 percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received.

"The report shows the industry is largely meeting or exceeding customer expectations and given the importance placed on the role telecommunications plays in both our economy and society, that is very good to hear," forum chief executive Paul Brislen said, acknowledging there were some areas where the industry could do better.

Submissions can be made via the commission's website by 15 October.

Consumers were also able to provide feedback via the commission's website and social media channels.

This story was originally published on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.

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