How do I complain about a phone company or internet service provider?
Phone and internet services for personal use are covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act and you have the same rights as with any other services. If you have any problems first try talking to the company involved to try and sort it out with them.
If you don’t have any luck, then you can make a formal complaint. It’s best to do this in writing as this enables you to keep a record of your efforts to have the issue resolved. You can find more information about writing a letter of complaint, as well as tips for complaining effectively, on our Complaints and disputes pages.
If the complaint isn’t resolved satisfactorily within six weeks of your letter of complaint, you can escalate the matter to the Telecommunication Dispute Resolution scheme (TDR).
TDR is an independent dispute resolution scheme which can investigate complaints made against member providers (check out whether your provider is a member by visiting their website). It doesn’t cost you (the consumer) anything to use this service.
To make a complaint to TDR you’ll need to be the account holder or someone authorised to act on behalf of the account holder. There is an online form that you can complete. You can also contact the TDR for information about the complaints process or to find out what types of complaints they can and can’t consider.
You have to make your complaint to TDR within 12 months of discovering the problem that you are complaining about.
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What types of complaints can’t the Telecommunication Dispute Resolution scheme investigate?
TDR can’t investigate complaints against telecommunications providers who are not members of the TDR scheme.
They also can’t deal with a telecommunications provider’s government or business/corporate customers (employing 20 or more full time employees).
TDR does not deal with complaints involving claims of over $15,000.
Other types of complaints that TDR can’t consider include:
- complaints about pricing or network coverage (unless they don’t correspond with what you were told during the sales process)
- complaints that are subject to legal action, are being made elsewhere or have already been considered by TDR
- claims for compensation for indirect loss.
More about the types of claims that TDR can and can't investigate is on their website.