Complaints about Utilities Disputes

Fact sheets for reference: Service charter [PDF 180KB] and Complaints about our service [PDF 306KB]

Sometimes our service may not meet your expectations. You can make a complaint about our service at any stage.

Who can complain?

You can complain if you have made a complaint or contacted us to obtain information or attempted to access our service. You can also complain if you are a provider or member who we have dealt with through the complaints process or engaged with as part of the services we provide.

What can you complain about?

You can complain about almost any part of our service. For example:

  • how long it took to look at your complaint
  • the way a team member behaved
  • difficulties accessing our service
  • the way we processed your complaint.

What can't you complain about?

The complaint procedure is not a judicial review or reconsideration of the decision made by the Commissioner.

We cannot consider complaints about the outcome or decision that was issued, such as a recommendation or decision not to consider your complaint further. This is because the Commissioner can decide what is fair and reasonable.

What to expect if you make a complaint

We will:

  • take your complaint seriously
  • explain the process we intend to take to investigate it
  • consider your complaint thoroughly, impartially, and within a reasonable time
  • tell you whether or not your complaint has been upheld.

Time frame

You should make any complaint about the service you received from us within three months.

Who to complain to

You can complain to any team member. If you would prefer, you can address your complaint to the Commissioner or directly to the Board Chair. The postal address is found under our contact details, or you can email either commissioner@utilitiesdisputes.co.nz or chair@utilitiesdisputes.co.nz

What happens when you make a complaint?

We will acknowledge your complaint and inform you of the process we intend to take to investigate and resolve it.

If we believe it is capable of being investigated and resolved quickly, we will let you know. If we consider it can be resolved quickly, we will endeavour to resolve the complaint within 10 working days of receiving it. 

If we believe it will require more time to investigate and resolve your complaint, we will let you know. We will also confirm whether your complaint is being referred to the Board.

Referral to the Board

Your complaint is referred to the Board if we believe it raises a particularly serious issue or it involves the conduct of the Commissioner. We will let you know within seven working days how the Board intends to investigate your complaint. We endeavour to resolve your complaint within 25 working days of receiving it.

All complaints are reported to the Board and are included (anonymously) in the Annual Report.

The Board’s investigation

The Board's investigation may include:

  • discussing the complaint with you
  • appointing someone who was not previously involved in the complaint to review what happened - this could be a senior team member or an external person if that is considered necessary.

The Board’s decision

The Board will let you know the outcome of any investigation. This will include telling you if any action is to be taken, by whom and when. Outcomes of previous complaints have included requiring the Commissioner to publish a practice statement on a topic, reviewing the investigation, and apologising for delays in dealing with the complaint.