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The Customer Service Guarantee

The Customer Service Guarantee Standard (CSG Standard) protects you from poor service. It tells telcos how fast they must connect or fix your landline. It also sets the compensation they have to pay if they miss those timelines.

Note: Complain to your telco if they don't meet:

What the CSG Standard covers

The CSG Standard covers phone services and appointments at your location including:

  • connecting a service or features such as call waiting and calling number display
  • repairing a fault or service problem

A ‘fault’ is when you:

  • can’t make or receive calls
  • are repeatedly cut off
  • have severe interference that affects the service
  • are unable to use the service or features such as call waiting because of another issue

The standard does not cover:

  • mobile phone and internet services
  • transfer to another phone company
  • your equipment, such as the telephone handset
  • services if you have more than 5 landline phone lines

Timelines

In most cases, the timelines depend on the size and location of your community.

If a telco promises to connect faster than the standard, that shorter period becomes the timeline.

Connecting a brand new service

Size of community

Timeline*

Urban (10,000+ people)

Within 5 working days

Major rural (2501 to 9999 people)

Within 10 working days

Minor rural (201 to 2500 people)

Within 15 working days

Remote (up to 200 people)

Within 15 working days

* The timeline for all communities is within 20 working days of the request if:

  • the community is not close to infrastructure
  • the network has no spare capacity

Connecting to an existing service

Where a phone service already exists, the telco must connect within 2 working days. This is for all communities.

Repairing faults or problems

Size of community

Timeline

Urban (10,000+ people)

End of next working day

Rural (201 to 9999 people)

End of second working day

Remote (up to 200 people)

End of third working day

If the telco does not need to visit the customer, the timeline is the end of the next working day.

Attending appointments

When the telco makes an appointment to connect or fix a service, they must:

  • give you an appointment window of no more than 5 hours
  • keep the appointment unless they give you reasonable notice that they need to change it

Community

Window for appointment

Appointment is missed if the telco does not attend

All locations

4 hours or less

within 15 minutes of the appointment period*

Urban and major rural (2501+ people)

Between 4 and 5 hours

within the appointment period

Minor rural and remote (up to 2500 people)

Between 4 and 5 hours

within the appointment period*

* if the telco must travel a long way in an area of up to 2500 people, they have an extra 45 minutes.

Interim or alternative phone services

Your telco may offer you another service while they are fixing a fault. This could be:

  • an interim service such as a mobile phone service at standard landline rates
  • an alternative service such as call diversion to a mobile or a second phone service

The CSG Standard does not apply to these services. You can accept or refuse the service as long as your telco gives you enough information to decide.

Exemptions from the CSG Standard

In a few situations, telcos do not have to meet the CSG Standard.

If you agree to give up your rights

Some telcos offer services that are only available if you give up some or all of your CSG rights.

If there is a mass service disruption

The CSG Standard does not apply if a network outage or disruption is the result of:

  • a natural disaster or extreme weather
  • planned maintenance or upgrade work that they told you about
  • damage to their facility or network by a third party

In the case of a mass service disruption, the telco must follow the rules in the Standard. Within 10 days of the start of the disruption they must:

  • write to everyone who is affected or publish a notice on their website and in the local newspaper
  • tell us and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about the disruption

Contact your telco in the first instance if you have problems with an outage. You can raise the issue with the ombudsman if your telco does not resolve it.

In a few situations, telcos do not have to meet the CSG Standard.

Our role is to make sure telcos meet the standard. We also publish information about exemptions in our annual report.

Compensation payments to you

If a telco misses a timeline in the CSG Standard, they must pay compensation. You don’t need to ask. It is automatic. They must pay you for each working day, unless they have an exemption.

Residential and charity customers

Services delayed

Compensation per working day, 1 to 5 days

Compensation per working day, 6+ days

Connect or fix a standard telephone service

$14.52

$48.40

Connect or fix 1 extra feature to an existing service

$7.26

$24.20

Connect or fix 2 or more features to an existing service

$14.52

$48.40

They must also pay $14.52 for each appointment they miss.

Business customers

Services delayed

Compensation per working day, 1 to 5 days

Compensation per working day, 6+ days

Connect or fix a standard telephone service

$24.20

$48.40

Connect or fix 1 extra feature to an existing service

$12.10

$24.20

Connect or fix 2 or more features to an existing service

$24.20

$48.40

They must also pay $24.20 for each appointment they miss.

As a business customer, if you accept a CSG payment you can still claim for loss of business.

 

Giving up your rights

Telcos can suggest that you give up some or all of your CSG rights. This may be so they can offer you services that would not be available if they had to meet the standard.

If they do this, they have to explain what might happen. They are not allowed to ask you to give up your rights if they are required by law to provide the service.

What the telco must do

The telco can ask you to fill out a form saying you give up some or all of your rights. Their form - known as a 'waiver' - can be online or paper and must include:

  • which CSG rights you are giving up
  • the date the waiver starts
  • their contact details
  • a statement that you do not have to agree to give up your rights (but a telco can choose to not give you the service if you refuse)
  • details of your protections and rights under the CSG Standard
  • a summary of what might happen if you give up your rights

The telco can ask you over the phone (verbally) to give up some or all of your rights under the CSG. This is known as an oral waiver. If they suggest an oral waiver, they must first tell you:

  • details of your protections and rights under the CSG Standard
  • what might happen if you give up your rights
  • which performance standards and rights to compensation will and will not apply
  • that you can change your mind and withdraw your consent within 5 working days
  • that they have to send you written details of your oral waiver
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