I'm a long time customer on a triple service 10GB plan, with no contract. For the last few months I've been exceeding my 10GB allowance and paying for the additional data at the ad hoc rate. This month has also gone over, so I thought I’d pay the extra money to upgrade to a 20GB plan. I called in to the TC shop in Wellington to arrange it and was quite surprised to find out that the 20GB plan is now actually cheaper than the 10GB plan. I enquired if there was anyone else on the 10GB plan and was informed that many people use it. “Why?” – I asked. “Well they just don’t see the need for more data.” was the reply. Incredible! It’s not like the extra data turns up at their house and they have to dispose of it if they don’t want it.
"OK, so I can pay $5 less per month and get more data?". “Yes, or another option would be to sign up for our latest promo…” (which isn't on their website and doesn't appear to be advertised anywhere – a kind of secret promotion that you don’t tell anyone about) “In that case you pay the same money as your 10GB plan for a year but you get 60GB of data per month.” I'm starting to feel glad I stopped by.
Next I checked my TV plan. I used to get the basic Sky package, and Sky Sport. When Soho launched I discontinued Sky Sport and added Soho, as well as Saturn Extra so that I could still receive channels such as UK TV, which you only got if you had an add on package.
Now I discover the packages have changed, and UK TV et al are bundled in with the standard package. Saturn Extra no longer exists – except of course on my monthly bill. “So what exactly am I getting for the extra $5 per month I'm paying – could it be nothing?” I ask. “Ahhhhmmm…. yes, you’re right…. nothing - I’ll give you a credit for that”
So, assuming the billing system works (what are the chances?) I should now have a credit on my account, and for the next year get 6 times my old data allowance, for $5 less per month.
So on the one hand I'm very happy – the guy in the store was extremely helpful and got me sorted out with the best available options. On the other hand I'm concerned about the underlying approach here. If someone is on a contract – fair enough, you signed up. If you’re not on a contract and don’t switch to a better deal – well maybe OK, I guess you should look around (although it would be nice to be advised of better options). But if a service is withdrawn, you’re not told, and you keep being charged for it, then that seems to be disingenuous at best…
Anyway, just thought there may be other people in the same situation who could benefit from this information.