New Zealand telecom operators asked ComCom to create marketing code to reduce customer confusion

Image: Chris Duckett / ZDNet

The New Zealand Commerce Commission (ComCom) has asked the local telecommunications industry to create a marketing code to reduce customer confusion. The Commission said the code was necessary because of Chorus’ withdrawal from copper services and Spark’s withdrawal from its connections to the public switched telephone network.

The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF) has been given 60 working days to develop a binding code that will give users “sufficient notice” of any change in copper service, that customers will know about the “full range” of alternative services. , including those of other providers and information on how alternative services would work.

Users need to be informed of “real peak” speeds, not theoretical maximums of a connection technology.

“Consumers have told us that the marketing of alternatives to traditional copper-based services is often incomplete, confusing or misleading,” said Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson. “Suppliers have also contacted us to share their concerns about the behavior of their competitors.”

“Although we have given the TCF 60 business days to create an industry code, we expect suppliers to bring their marketing into compliance with these guidelines as soon as possible, so that consumers can make an informed choice about which technologies and plans that best suit their telecommunications needs.

In August, Gilbertson published a letter seek industry advice to resolve the confusion issue.

“We have examples of people being told they have to move now because Chorus and Spark are in the process of withdrawing their copper or PSTN service when the withdrawal is not even scheduled yet, and the marketing materials make claims about the performance of alternative technologies that do not reflect real world performance, ”he said at the time.

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