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Dispute Management – Sept. 2020

The Dispute Management workstream met to review and update the Dispute Process Standardization and Dispute Management Guidelines documents. The aim was to introduce commonality to the dispute management process as a whole and to highlight the best practices to resolve disputes.

The workshops were focused on Voice products; however, the same processes can be reengineered for other products.

Rate dispute findings and additions:

  • To be raised within 30 days or as agreed on Contract. Some exception accepted.
  • No minimum threshold. 
  • Rates to be sent to the correct team/ email address as agreed on the contract.
  • Reference data needs to be up to date

Dial codes and Shortfall dispute findings and additions:

  • Check Dial codes on rate sheet and match CDRs. 
  • Check timezone, rounding, peak/off-peak pricing etc. 
  • I3forum Master Numbering Plan, carriers are requested to promote this cause within the organization in order to create a Master numbering plan for the industry.
  • Shortfalls are mostly not charged, but added in the next swap.
  • Shortfalls are always discussed with the Commercial team.
  • Primarily allow 1– 2 months of GP extension.

Volume dispute findings and additions:

  • Disputes not raised if less than 1% (of overall invoice) or $1,000. This threshold changes from carrier to carrier. Some limit to $500, but it’s based on Contract.
  • If the difference is repeated for more than 3 months then dispute is raised and investigated.
  • Most carriers are working on adding/updating the dispute tolerance on the Contract.
  • The disputing party holds the responsibility to analyze the dispute and provide proof towards the claim. Disputed party should provide necessary information to aid the analysis, namely CDRs.
  • First a day-wise summary is shared to find out which day’s CDRs need comparison.
  • Based on this analysis required, CDRs are shared and further comparison is done to pinpoint the root cause.
  • Technical teams are involved when Live testing or more intensive investigation are needed.
  • Commercial team to get involved when both parties have issues and a clear resolution is not achieved.

Fraud dispute findings and additions:

  • Suppliers should be informed ASAP once a fraudulent activity is detected, to stop the payment flow in writing.
  • Fraud destination, minutes, dates, and amounts should be mentioned on the dispute along with CDRs of the fraud traffic.
  • A detailed police report should be shared with the carrier within 30 days of the fraudulent activity. This timeline can be flexible but at discretion of Carrier.
  • If Police reports are obtained in a language other than English then an English translation will need to be provided within 60 days.
  • Standardization of Police report – shared part of the Fraud Management workstream.
  • No minimum threshold to raise a Fraud dispute. If a dispute is raised by a Customer then it should be highlighted to the Supplier unless the carrier considers the amount to be too small. May be $100, but this amount varies from Carrier to carrier.
  • Most carriers do not have a fraud clause in the contract, however are in the process of adding the same.
  • The fight against fraud has to be a fought together and with a sense of urgency. Quick action with blocking the traffic, and in turn the payment, is key to the success.
  • Although this does NOT guarantee success in all cases, it does increases the chance.

Learnings from the workstream:

  • Knowledge sharing on end-to-end dispute management process.
  • Agreement around the process.
  • We are all facing similar problems.
  • Most processes we follow on dispute resolution are aligned.
  • Open communication is key.

Challenges we face:

  • Need more and more carriers to follow the process uniformly.
  • Fight against fraud and the urgency expected within the industry.
  • Unresolved disputes.
  • Lack of communication.
  • Old contracts do not support cause.