New Approach to Resolving ISP Disputes Proves Successful
The South African Internet consumer’s response to a mediation process put in place by the country’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has been ‘overwhelmingly positive’.
That’s according to Guy Halse, ISPA co-chair, who says the industry association’s members have also embraced ISPA’s consumer mediation process launched in September last year.
ISPA has been holding its members to an industry Code of Conduct since 2002, ensuring they treat customers fairly and provide accurate information about their service offerings.
“After seventeen years of enforcing the Code, ISPA’s team has learnt a lot about some of the issues consumers may experience with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). ISPA’s consumer mediation process puts this experience to good use,” says Mr Halse.
He explains that the mediation process is designed to offer support to consumers who may be struggling to get speedy assistance from an ISPA member. “The ISPA team will collect as much useful information about the problem as possible and make sure it reaches the right person at the right ISP,” continues Mr Halse.
The mediation process is also intended to assist ISPA members in dealing with spikes in consumer complaints, for example, because of a change in a wholesale offering outside of the ISP’s control. ISPA works with the member to find a resolution to the consumer’s complaint that aims to keep that consumer as a satisfied customer.
Responses from members and consumers to the mediation process since it was launched have been positive, with members giving the process the necessary support to make it work, and consumers appreciative of the swift assistance they have received from ISPA’s members. One consumer commented: “Ordinarily one would have to wait 4-6 weeks for feedback let alone having the matter resolved so expediently. Thank you once again for your intervention and high levels of service.”
For more information on the mediation process, and how to lodge a mediation request, please see the ISPA website: https://ispa.org.za/code-of-conduct/mediation-and-complaints-process/.
Note that this dispute resolution only applies to complaints against ISPA members -a good reason to ensure that you choose an ISPA member as your service provider.
ISPA requires that consumers log a support ticket with their ISP before approaching ISPA. In the vast majority of cases, members provide prompt and effective customer support without any need for ISPA’s intervention. It has, after all, always been a requirement of ISPA Code of Conduct that members provide professional services and offer service levels they are capable of meeting.
“ISPA has spent the better part of two decades working to advance the interests of the local Internet consumer. Our mediation process represents another landmark innovation aimed at boosting the service levels provided by SA’s ISP industry,” concludes Mr Halse.
For further information, please contact the ISPA secretariat on the Contact ISPA page.