With the ISPs now entering what appears to be a dataplan war, those who are informed are hopping between ISPs and tracking what the best value plan is.
But after recently seeing a post where a person has only ever been on InspireNet, and is on "InspireBitstream_256_5GB_ThrottleOnCap", for $40 + $50 telecom line rental.
If i read into that plan name correctly, i can make a pretty solid guess thats 256k internet, with a 5gb cap, for $90. That's shocking value in this day and age.
1) Do you think that ISPs should inform customers of new plan offerings, aside from general marketing? Should they be required to?
2) Should ISPs automatically move customers to better value plans? Take into account that plans don't always just get cheaper/faster/more data, they can change in other ways too (onpeak/offpeak, requiring tolls with one company etc)
3) How big of a problem do you think it is with people being on old plans? That is, how many people do you think are in a similar situation? Keep in mind if you're reading this you're probably tech orientated. Think about this in the context of your typical family for example that just pays the bill each month.
4) "Whats my number" is a campaign by the Consumers Institute and the NZ Government on getting people on the best value power bill. Internet cost doesn't have the same motivation that saving power does, that is, reducing our overall energy usage, better for environment/sustainability etc. But do you think there should be more awareness (not necessarily from the government) on this sort of thing?
And general comments on this sort of topic too! The above are just things to prompt some discussion.
My own responses to these:
1) Yes they should inform them. No they shouldn't be required to, simply because while i hate seeing people getting ripped off, in the end in its most basic form you sign a service agreement with the company to supply services, and they continue giving you the services you requested for the price agreed on. It should be common courtesy however from the company to go beyond marketing and actually send out letters to their customers for example, informing them rather than just advertising.
2) Yes if the plan is the identical but just cheaper/more data sort of thing. For example Telecom just bumped up all their data allowances instead of forcing people to manually change plan. This is a good move. But people who are on plans where something significant has changed shouldn't be automatically moved.
3) I think its probably a pretty significant problem for those who aren't in the know. Can't put a figure on it as i have nothing to back it up, but theres plenty of people who just pay the bill and be done with it.
4) I would strongly encourage a company like the Consumers Institute, Truenet or some other consumer orientated organization with interest in giving people value for money having a campaign of some description to try and push people to seek better value.