David Fisher in the HoS wrote:
It could be dubbed the Slingshot law.
Consumer organisations have singled out the company while asking the Government to force phone and internet companies to a scheme designed to protect customer rights.
And the Government has signalled it is prepared to listen to rein in phone and internet customers that refuse to be accountable.
The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand and Consumer New Zealand wrote to Telecoms Minister Steven Joyce on Friday.
“TUANZ is fed up,” said the organisation’s business manager Katherine Hall. “We’re fielding calls from disgruntled – mostly Slingshot – customers on a regular basis.”
Hall said there was nowhere to direct customers of companies which did not belong to the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme.
The scheme is intended to be an option of last resort for frustrated customers who want independent arbitration. Membership is voluntary but includes Telecom, Vodafone and a host of other providers.
“Those who are signatories have smartened up their act and those who haven’t have a licence to frustrate and annoy.” …
A similar scheme in Australia was compulsory for phone and internet companies. Joyce said he had told the industry he was comfortable with membership being voluntary “provided that all carriers are members”.
“I advised them at the time that if they are not able to do this I will be considering a range other options.”
I’m hesitant about making the TRDS compulsory. What is preferable is that telco and internet providers who are not members of it, in the media etc when they fail to provide good service.
I suspect David’s articles on Slingshot may do more towards improving their customer service, than joining the TDRS would have.
So long as it is easy to leave a badly performing provider when they give crap service, then generally they will suffer the consequences of making customers wait on hold for an hour.
In another article, it is reported:
Many of the people who did email said they would leave Slingshot if it were not for the $149 “early termination fee” to get out of their contracts. Callander told me customers would not be held to that fee if they were leaving as a result of a problem that was Slingshot’s fault.
In the end, I told Callander that I was treated so poorly I didn’t want to remain a customer. Callander now accepts my time on hold was not an isolated incident.
Also, customers should be free to shop around. Many phone and internet companies charge early termination fees. The fee is usually included on contracts that give good deals (including bandwidth and hardware) over 12 or 24 months.
If one has an early termination fee, and the reason you are leaving is crap service (not just cheaper price elsewhere), then I’d tell the company you won’t pay it as they have not provided an adequate service. If they take you to the disputes tribunal, you’d probably win I reckon.Tags: David Fisher, Slingshot