Phone, internet and broadband

The next steps to take if you are unable to resolve an issue with your phone, internet or broadband supplier.

Who do I go to?

The Telecommunication Dispute Resolution (TDR)(external link) scheme if your phone or internet company is a member.

Utilities Disputes(external link) if you have an issue with the accessing of shared property for the purposes of connecting broadband. 

The Disputes Tribunal or the District Court(external link) to make a claim if you are unable to resolve the complaint.

The Commerce Commission(external link) if you wish to report a business for false or misleading statements or conduct. 

The Privacy Commissioner(external link) if you believe the company has interfered with your privacy.

What kind of problems do they handle?

TDR can only hear a complaint about a scheme member and it must relate to claims about:

  • any service provided from a scheme member, such as landlines, data, internet, mobile phones, mobile phone coverage, broadband and internet speeds, internet data, and disconnection of services
  • any products provided by a scheme member, such as faulty modems or mobile phones
  • charges made for products and services (but not prices), such as early termination fees for fixed-term contracts and reconnection fees
  • customer service issues such as service transfers and delays.

TDR can’t hear complaints about:

  • equipment or software not supported by the telecommunications company
  • network infrastructure or coverage
  • broadband shared property access
  • 111 calls
  • Yellow Pages advertising content
  • domain names
  • Privacy Act issues
  • complaints already taken to the Disputes Tribunal or District Court
  • pricing unless the billing is different to the quoted pricing.

The Dispute Tribunal and District Court can issue a court order. The available remedies are:

  • making a damages payment (a sum of money) to compensate you for any loss suffered 
  • requiring the party who has breached the contract to carry out their obligations 
  • forbidding the party from breaching the contract
  • declaring that the contract is at an end and requiring the party who has breached the contract to put you back in the position you were in before the contract was entered into. 

The type of remedy and its availability depends on the type of contract and the type of breach

What do I need to do?

  1. Contact your telecommunications provider to try to resolve the problem. 
  2. Check to see if your telecommunications provider is a member of TDR. See TDR’s Take the 3-step-check(external link) on their website.
  3. Contact TDR if you can’t resolve your complaint with the telecommunications company, or if six weeks have gone by and they have not resolved the problem, or if you are unhappy with the outcome.
  4. Follow TDR’s Complaint process(external link) to make your complaint. 
  5. You may also wish to make a claim to the Disputes Tribunal or District Court. Find out more about Going to the Disputes Tribunal. Please be aware that you cannot take a claim that has already been taken to the Disputes Tribunal to TDR.

What else do I need to consider?

Making a complaint to TDR is free for you.

Your claim to TDR must be for less than $15,000.

You must make a complaint to TDR within 12 months of first discovering the problem you are complaining about.

If no settlement is reached, an adjudicator will make a decision that is binding on the telecommunications company, but not on you.

TDR can award compensation for direct losses including replacement costs for hardware and the cost of technical assistance.

Where can I get more information?

Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR)

Provides information about the independent resolution scheme and how to make a complaint.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0508 98 98 98

Utilities Disputes

The Utilities Dispute website provides information about shared property access and how to refer a dispute.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 22 33 40

The Disputes Tribunal

The Ministry of Justice website provides information on the Tribunal and how to apply.

Visit the website(external link)

District Court

Information about your local District Court can be found on the District Courts of New Zealand website.

Visit the website(external link)

The Commerce Commission

Provides information how to make a complaint if you feel a business is not complying with the Fair Trading Act.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 943 600

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Provides information on the Privacy Act and how to make complaints about breaches of the Act.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 803 909