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24 September 2015

Opinion: Businesses you can trust

Report highlights importance of Consumer Trusted programme.

The release of the Commerce Commission’s Consumer Issues 2015 report (3.74 MB) highlights the important role Consumer NZ’s Trusted business programme plays.

The report includes the 24 most complained about businesses. They represented 25 percent of fair trading complaints in 2014. Telecommunications providers and domestic appliance retailers continued to generate the most complaints.

The telecommunications industry took out the top two positions – Spark and Vodafone. Consumer Trusted business 2degrees was number 22 with 24 complaints. It’s disappointing 2degrees is on the list at all (and we will be carefully monitoring this) but by joining the Consumer Trusted programme, the telco has committed to doing better by its customers.

In our own research, 2degrees gets very high marks for customer satisfaction as a mobile operator. In our February report on satisfaction with ISPs and telcos, it was the standout performer with 87 percent of members rating its services as good or very good.

The company has 1.3 million customers. Last year, two complaints made about it to the Telecommunications Disputes Resolution Service went to mediation. However, that doesn’t tell us much as most people don’t know it exists!

To become Consumer Trusted, 2degrees was put through the wringer – even down to probing its terms and conditions to ensure they were consumer-friendly. The company joined the Trusted programme halfway through last year, so we’re expecting by the time the commission’s next report is released, it will not feature. 2degrees is also working with the commission in its trader compliance programme.

The Consumer Trusted programme was developed to help businesses raise the bar in terms of customer satisfaction and service. By doing so, we hope to lift the standards of all customer-facing businesses. Consumers should expect when they deal with a Consumer Trusted business just that, that they can trust them.

If you have a complaint about 2degrees and don’t feel you are getting satisfaction please let us know. We can either directly help or point you in the right direction.

About the author:

Sue Chetwin has been our Chief Executive since April 2007 after more than 25 years in print journalism. She was formerly the Editor of Sunday News, Sunday Star Times and the Herald on Sunday. She says there are strong parallels between consumer advocacy and journalism.
Sue oversees all of Consumer’s operations and is also the public face of the organisation. Sue is a director of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, an alternate on the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commission and a member of the Electricity Authority Retail Advisory group.

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