Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.
Tuanz calls for better consumer protections
Posted on 14-Jul-2016 12:05 by Bill Bennett | Tags Filed under: Articles


Tuanz — Telecommunications Users Association New Zealand — wants better consumer protection when the government revisits the Telecommunications Act.

Earlier this week Communications Minister Amy Adams published what she calls an “options paper”. This asks for feedback on the government’s proposed utility-style model for regulating fixed line telecommunications services after 2020.

The paper forms part of the government’s review of the 2001 Telecommunications Act. The Telecommunications Act 2001 review options paper is online at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

One of the goals of the review is to bring telecommunications regulation more into line with utlities such as electricity lines and gas pipelines. Fresh mobile regulation is possible with potential provisions for infrastructure sharing.

In a press release Tuanz CEO Craig Young says:

“Tuanz has been arguing strongly for significantly stronger consumer disputes processes under the current mandatory code regime. However, the options released today leave this important function with the TCF.

“There may be no choice but to push for the alternative option of an independent dispute and complaint model to ensure that management of disputes is user-friendly, and focused on their rights.

This is important. The recent media stories about poor UFB installations highlight how powerless consumers feel when dealing with large, faceless telecommunications companies.

New Zealand’s access model with separation between network companies and retail service providers is good, but there is a danger of finger-pointing when problems occur. An independent referee would restore confidence.

“It is also disappointing that calls for a properly funded consumer advocacy group, and end-user focused research, have been ignored.

This has worked well in other counties. In the past Tuanz has done a lot of the consumer advocacy work, but that isn’t the organisation’s primary purpose and not what it’s member pay subscriptions for. Likewise the research.

With adequate funding, the organisation could do more work in both departments. Or it could play a role setting up a new separate, consumer-oriented body. It wouldn’t be expensive and would be cost-effective.

As Young goes on to say:

“The successful Australian model proves that contestable funds are an effective way of providing these important services and that leaving it up to the support from corporate entities is unrealistic.”

In the recent past government has looked to an industry levy to fund its rural broadband project and certain services for disabled users. While it would be better to ditch the levy — the telecommunications industry is unfairly targeted in this way — it wouldn’t hurt to set aside a small share of this money to fund an independent consumer-oriented body.

Disclosure: Bill Bennett is working on a writing project for Tuanz. 

Tuanz calls for better consumer protections was first posted at billbennett.co.nz


Filed under: Telecommunications Tagged: Amy Adams, government, Tuanz






comments powered by Disqus


Trending now »

Hot discussions in our forums right now:

Driving an automatic - do you use one foot or both?
Created by geekIT, last reply by Fred99 on 22-Sep-2017 19:36 (129 replies)
Pages... 7 8 9


iPhone 8/iPhone X, impressions?
Created by surfisup1000, last reply by nas on 22-Sep-2017 18:46 (396 replies)
Pages... 25 26 27


Auckland Airport fuel supply obliterated by digger
Created by Batman, last reply by pbgben on 22-Sep-2017 17:46 (219 replies)
Pages... 13 14 15


How to backup/copy an iphone app?
Created by Batman, last reply by scuwp on 19-Sep-2017 19:37 (24 replies)
Pages... 2


Mighty Ape Birthday hunt 2017
Created by ThePlague, last reply by joshhill96 on 21-Sep-2017 23:11 (22 replies)
Pages... 2


IOS 11 email client and Office 365 - heads up people
Created by gjm, last reply by mattwnz on 20-Sep-2017 17:15 (18 replies)
Pages... 2


When did we become America
Created by BTR, last reply by Fred99 on 22-Sep-2017 12:12 (66 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5


Sky blames piracy for lost customers. Sky: it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.
Created by kingdragonfly, last reply by Rikkitic on 21-Sep-2017 11:10 (482 replies)
Pages... 31 32 33