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Billing dispute and suspended service

The complaint
Payment details were accidently deleted from the customers account.
The outcome
Details were restored and a discount applied to the account.

The issue

Man working at a computer with a headset on. *Paul Fisher from Adelaide, contacted his service provider, *Speedy Internet, to make a complaint about the payment options for his internet services.

Paul advised he only wished to pay his bills by BPay. Speedy Internet misunderstood the complaint and thought Paul did not want to provide Speedy Internet with his credit card details. Under Speedy Internet’s Terms and Conditions, an active credit card on file is required as a back up payment method in case bills are not paid by the due date.

In October 2017, Paul was late in paying his internet bill. Subsequently the internet service was suspended in November. Paul contacted Speedy Internet and found his credit card details were not on file. Speedy Internet advised Paul he was being difficult towards them and they intended to release him from the contract between them. Paul and Speedy Internet could not resolve this issue.

The investigation

As a result, Paul contacted the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about the issue. He explained his frustration at having his service suspended, even though he gave his credit card details to Speedy Internet. Paul wanted to be compensated for the time spent without an internet service.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman referred the complaint to Speedy Internet, advising both parties that under the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman rules, they have ten business days to resolve the complaint.

Paul contacted the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman after the ten day period expired with no resolution reached.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman escalated the complaint to conciliation with a Dispute Resolution Officer. The Dispute Resolution Officer reviewed Paul’s complaint.

Paul advised the Dispute Resolution Officer he was happy to have his credit card details on file with Speedy Internet, but he still wished to be compensated for his service being suspended.

The Dispute Resolution Officer then spoke to Speedy Internet to discuss Paul’s complaint. Speedy Internet advised the Dispute Resolution Officer they did misunderstand Paul’s initial complaint, and had deleted his credit card details.

The outcome

The Dispute Resolution Officer suggested that to maintain relations with Paul, Speedy Internet could consider offering him a discount on a future bill. The Dispute Resolution Officer also suggested continuing the contract would be beneficial to both Paul and Speedy Internet.

Speedy Internet agreed to this resolution by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and also offered Paul a free month of internet usage.

Paul accepted the offer and both Speedy Internet and Paul were happy to have the matter resolved.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

Here's how other cases were managed

Complaint
Mobile coverage upgrades promised were not being delivered.
Outcome
Early termination fees for affected customers were waived.
Complaint
Elderly customer is signed up to a contract that she didn't need or understand.
Outcome
Contract is cancelled without penalty.