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Broadband consumer rights in NZ

Broadband for personal use is covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act. If you have a problem with your broadband provider, you should contact them and see if you can arrive at a solution. 

If you don’t have any luck, you can make a formal complaint. It’s best to do this in writing or via email, as you can keep a record of your efforts. You can find more information about writing a letter of complaint, as well as tips for complaining effectively, on the complaints and disputes pages at Consumer NZ.

If your ISP belongs to the Telecommunication Dispute Resolution scheme (TDR) and your complaint isn’t resolved satisfactorily or within six weeks of your initial letter of complaint, you can take the matter to the TDR. 

The TDR is an independent dispute resolution scheme that investigates complaints against member providers (you can find out whether your provider is a member by visiting the TDR website). The service is free to use.

To make a complaint to the TDR, you must be the account holder or someone authorised to act on behalf of the account holder. There is an online form to complete. You can also contact the TDR for information about the complaints process, including what complaints it can and can’t consider. 

To make a complaint to the TDR, it must be within 12 months of you discovering the problem you are complaining about.

If your provider is not a member of the TDR, you still have rights.

Service providers guarantee their services will be:

• performed with reasonable care and skill

• fit for the particular purpose they were supplied for

• completed within a reasonable time

• a reasonable price, if no price or pricing formula has been previously agreed. 


Early termination fees

Early termination fees (ETF) are a common element of broadband contract terms.  

Our comparison table includes broadband ETF information. It helps you make a more informed choice on the best plan for your needs.

ETFs are one-off payments that apply when you want to break a contract early. Open-plan contracts don’t have termination fees. However, you may be required to return a router or modem.

If you have completed the minimum term of your contract, you can’t be stung with an ETF.  


Consumer NZ ISP satisfaction survey

Every year Consumer NZ surveys customer satisfaction of internet service providers (ISP).

In 2017, one of the smaller ISPs stood out – 64% of its customers were very satisfied compared with the industry average of 47%. The bigger players lagged behind.

Paying Consumer members can see the full results here.


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