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5 February 2015

Opinion: Putting our trust in the best

Consumer Trusted businesses score high for satisfaction.

Our most recent survey of mobile providers found 2degrees was the stand-out performer. It’s ranked highly for the past three years. It scored above average in all of the customer-service ratings. Further, in terms of value for money it scored 79 percent compared with Vodafone and Spark which were below 50 percent.

Those scores distinguish 2degrees as a good performer, which is why we at Consumer are patting ourselves on the back too.

Last year we launched our business accreditation scheme, Consumer Trusted, and 2degrees was one of the first on board. We assessed the telco against the Consumer NZ Code of Conduct – 8 principles grounded in customer service – and 2degrees met the criteria.

It’s heartening to see that our processes are working – your assessment of how 2degrees operates is the same as ours.

Similarly we’ve just surveyed internet service providers (ISPs). Inspire Net shared the top spot with Actrix with overall satisfaction of 97 percent. Inspire Net achieved above average ratings for customer service and reliability. It also scored well for value for money - 87 percent against an overall score of just 48 percent for the others. Inspire Net is another Consumer Trusted business.

For more than 55 years we’ve been testing products and services. It was not until the launch of our Trusted scheme last year we moved into assessing whole businesses - the point being to make it easier for consumers to shop with confidence. Our Trusted businesses can use their accreditation to promote their services and we encourage that so consumers know who we think is best. We intend ensuring our Trusted businesses remain that way but it is reassuring when we ask our members what they think of major utilities such as telcos and ISPs, that their experiences match ours.

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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